Olympian Allyson Felix Just Magnificently Became The Most Decorated American Woman In Her Sport

Olympic runner Allyson Felix didn't win the gold medal in the 400-meter at this year's games in Rio. She finished second, just a bit behind Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas. But she set an Olympic record nonetheless: With her silver in the 400-meter, Felix became the most decorated American woman in track and field, breaking the record of six medals previously held by Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Incidentally, Joyner-Kersee's husband Bob is Felix's running coach.

Felix finished the race just seven hundredths of a second behind Miller, who literally dove across the finish line to win the gold in the finals. It was a tie for the closest second-place finish in an Olympic 400-meter, and made all the more impressive due to the fact that this was Felix's first time competing in a 400-meter individual race at the Olympics.

In addition to this silver, Felix has six other medals under her belt from previous games. She first competed in the Olympics at the 2004 games in Athens, where she won the silver in the 200-meter. She took home that same medal four years later in Beijing, and also won the gold in the 4x400-meter relay. At the 2012 games in London, Felix outdid herself. She won gold medals in three events that year: The 4x400-meter relay, the 4x100-meter relay, and the 200-meter dash.

ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

It shouldn't be too surprising that Felix has broken Olympic records, because her talent was apparent at a young age. In 2001, at the age of 16, she won the gold in the 100-meter at the World Youth Championship, and took home the bronze in the 200-meter two years later at the Pan-American Games.

So far, Team USA has been absolutely dominant at the Rio games. As of this writing, American athletes have taken home a whopping 75 medals, including 26 golds. That's almost 30 more medals than any other country has won in Rio; China is currently in second place with 46 medals, and is followed by Great Britain with 41 medals.

Felix had been planning to run in the 200-meter this year as well, but she didn't qualify, in part due to an ankle injury. Nevertheless, she'll likely compete in the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays later in the week, so she could have more chances to take home gold in Rio. Even if she doesn't, though, she'll still head home to California after the games having done something no other American female Olympian has done.