How Allyson Felix Wants to Teach Her Daughter Camryn to 'Overcome Adversity' and 'Keep Pushing'

Allyson Felix tells Parents magazine she "can't wait" for her daughter Camryn to "understand fully" about perseverance

For Allyson Felix, the tough times are the ones that test our resolve and character the most — and she wants to pass that lesson on to her daughter Camryn Grace.

The nine-time Olympic medalist, 34, poses with her 18-month-old for Parents magazine's July cover story, in which she discusses her hopes for her baby girl in terms of what Felix herself has seen transpiring in the world as of late and how training for the now-postponed 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo has given her perspective as a mom.

"Making the Olympics a fifth time wasn't just this dream that I had — it was a dream we had together," Felix says of herself and her husband, Kenneth Ferguson. "To be able to tell Cammy the whole story — everything from her very difficult birth, to me speaking to Congress and returning to the track, to how we did it as a family."

Allyson Felix and daughter Camryn
Allyson Felix and daughter Camryn for Parents magazine. Mark Williams and Sara Hirakawa for Parents

But while the Games haven't played out exactly the way Felix envisioned, she is seeing the silver lining within her family life, saying that she's enjoying "having this quality time and being able to watch [Camryn] grow."

"I was scared that I was missing little pieces of her progress," the track-and-field sprinter admits.

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Allyson Felix and daughter Camryn
Allyson Felix and daughter Camryn cover Parents magazine's July issue. Mark Williams and Sara Hirakawa for Parents
Allyson Felix and daughter Camryn
Allyson Felix for Parents magazine. Mark Williams and Sara Hirakawa for Parents

Luckily for Felix, she also realizes that "life isn't about this one specific moment that we're trying to get to" — rather, "It's about the special moments on the way there."

Admittedly, other recent moments haven't been ideal — like the issues unfolding both domestically and globally such as the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and continued need for a fight against systemic racism following George Floyd's homicide.

But the activist and Athleta partner says she wants her daughter to look to her mom, specifically while she's training at home with Camryn nearby, "to have those visuals of what a strong woman looks like — what it actually looks like to overcome adversity and to just keep pushing."

"In the future, we'll be able to tell her about this year, and last year, and about how hard it was," Felix tells Parents. "I can't wait until she can understand fully what this is about and that she's been on this journey as well."

When it comes to racial inequality specifically, the mother of one says she is "hopeful" based on what she's seeing, but still believes "we have a long way to go" in the sense that "a week or two of protest is not going to turn our country's racial disparities off."

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"But this time of reflection is so important and can create change," she adds. "My continued hope for my country, my people and my daughter is that each of us will have hard and honest looks at ourselves and see what changes and perspective shifts we need to make."

Felix believes "there is a fear problem throughout our society," saying, "the truth is that many white people are afraid of black people" and imploring white individuals to "really pause" and ask themselves if they "walked into a room that was predominately (60 percent) black how would you feel? Would you be a little nervous? Would you feel safe? Is that a space you would want to go back to tomorrow?"

"I believe the honest answers to those questions are so important to bridging the racial disparities in our country," she says. "We have to look at truth. Most white people that I know plainly and clearly state that they do not hate black people, but I'm asking you, are you afraid of us?"

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero ( which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement ( provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.

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