Allyson Felix Helping Mothers Competing in Tokyo Olympics Cover Childcare Costs
By: Alyssa Wilson
Olympian Allyson Felix is helping mothers competing in the Tokyo Olympics cover the cost of their childcare.
In a partnership with her sponsor, Athleta, and the Women’s Sports Foundation, a $200,000 grant will cover the costs for several professional athletes competing in 2021, Fast Company reported.
Nine athletes have already been selected to have their childcare costs covered, including hammer thrower Gwen Berry and saber fencer Mariel Zagunis. Both women will receive $10,000 each.
Felix has been a vocal advocate for female athletes. Felix broke her nondisclosure agreement with Nike after Olympic runners Alysia Montano and Kara Goucher did the same to show how the company treated them while they were pregnant.
In 2019, she spoke publicly about trying to push back against Nike’s policy of cutting pay for its female athletes during and after pregnancy. “One of my first races back after giving birth to my daughter, Camryn, was the World Championships,” she told Fast Company. She said at the time she was breastfeeding, exhausted from being a first-time mother while training, and she had a roommate at the competition.
Shortly after, Felix took her talents to Athleta, where she said they understood she was “a whole person beyond the track.” Part of her contract with the brand includes provisions that her daughter can join her whenever she is competing.
Felix realizes that every female athlete is not as fortunate as her to have this level of support from their sponsor. This is why she wanted to create a grant program to help other mothers who are athletes. The program is open to female athletes heading the Tokyo Olympics.
To be eligible, the athletes must have one or more children under the age of 18, or be expecting to welcome a child in their family this year. Applicants must also be legal U.S citizens competing for Team USA. The funds can be used to cover child care expenses such as caregivers, travel, meals, supplies and equipment. Applications are open until August 31.