Allyson Felix and Athleta Providing $200K to Help Mom Athletes with Child Care During Olympics

"As a mom and an athlete, I know first-hand the obstacles women face in sports," says six-time gold medalist Allyson Felix, who is mom to 2½-year-old daughter Camryn

Olympic moms
Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty

Allyson Felix has fellow athletes who are moms covered.

Partnering with her sponsor Athleta the Women's Sports Foundation, the 35-year-old track and field star — who has six Olympic gold medals under her belt and will compete at the upcoming Tokyo games — will provide $200,000 in grants to professional athletes who are moms, to help with covering child care costs while they compete.

Among the first group of recipients for the Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants are six athletes traveling to the Tokyo Olympics, each getting $10,000.

"As a mom and an athlete, I know first-hand the obstacles women face in sports," Felix, who has 2½-year-old daughter Camryn, says in a press release. "It was important to me and to Athleta that our partnership reflects that I am more than just an athlete. In fact, part of my contract includes provisions for my daughter, Camryn, to join me whenever I am competing. But not everyone has access to this type of support from a partner or sponsor."

"These grants are about showing the industry that all mom-athletes need this same comprehensive support to be able to participate in their athletic endeavors," she adds.

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Lora Webster, a sitting volleyball player, is among the Power of She Fund: Child Care Grant recipients. She is mom to three kids who are 10, 8 and 5 years old.

"Balancing training with being a full-time mom is not always a pretty picture. We don't have family nearby to help with the child care, so much of my training happens in our home with my kids acting as trainers," Webster, 34, says in a press release. "There have been many instances where we simply can't justify the cost of a babysitter on top of the cost of the gym and training site, so my training falls by the wayside."

"This money has given us such a big breath of relief in the past few weeks," she adds.

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Felix gave birth to her daughter in November 2018 after suffering from preeclampsia and undergoing an emergency caesarean section at only 32 weeks pregnant. Doctors told her she and her baby would have died had she not been able to deliver that exact day.

She says that overcoming that difficult birth makes moments spent with her daughter mean more than moments on the track — but that doesn't mean she's done yet.

Ahead of the Summer Olympics, the track star told PEOPLE that she views her daughter as the "driving force" of her motivation, hoping she's able to show Camryn what hard work and overcoming adversity looks like. Felix says it's been a challenging and "humbling" experience to return to the sport after giving birth, doing it all for her daughter.

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