Allyson Felix is one of the most decorated female athletes in Olympic history. As she preps for her races in Rio one thing she is not leaving behind her is her faith.
"Faith leads my life. That's definitely the reason that I run," Felix told the Los Angeles Times.
Since 2004, Felix has collected a host of silver and gold medals in the 200 meter race, 4-by-400-meter relay, and 4-by-100-meter relay. It is a feat few have accomplished and Felix, who was raised as a Christian, knows it's a gift from God.
"I definitely feel like I've been blessed with this gift, and so that's something that helps me to see the bigger picture," she said.
Felix began running her freshmen year of high school, which is considered a late start. Even so, Felix has seen unprecedented success.
"I never expected to be a professional athlete," Felix told Fellowship of Christian Athletes earlier this year. "I had to really trust him and his plan for my life. We always have our own idea of how our life is going to go, but we really have to follow the Lord's will."
Felix adds that she knows she had to trust God when she was injured and during other career lows, like missing her chance to defend the 200-meter title by 0.01 seconds.
"[Career down moments] are still difficult," she said. "I think a lot of times you want faith to kind of be the answer to everything, and it's still a struggle to get there, you know? There are very real moments that are hard, but I think that it helps me to be able to learn the lesson that there is a purpose, a reason why maybe that happened, and it can create something in you and it might be preparing you for something better in the future."