Allyson Felix, the most decorated female track and field athlete in Olympic history, with seven gold medals won from 2012 to 2021, retired from her sport earlier this year. She quickly turned to a new competitive landscape: the business world.
Felix has since launched Saysh, a women’s lifestyle brand designed to meet the needs of female athletes and active women. Speaking about his career transition at Variety‘s Sports and Entertainment Breakfast on July 21, Felix expressed her excitement about the growing number of opportunities that await star female athletes as media personalities, investors and entrepreneurs when they decide to leave the field.
Snowboarding star Chloe Kim, who has won two gold medals to date, also attended the event, presented by City National Bank at Maybourne in Beverly Hills, to discuss her budding career as a content producer. and the experience of growing up in the public eye. as a young female athlete in an unconventional sport.
Felix pointed out that there are, as always, many issues to be worked out towards gender equality in sport and business, as demonstrated by Felix’s public spat with Nike in 2019 over the absence of the footwear giant’s maternal leave policy for its sponsored athletes. She publicly called out her former sponsor in a New York Times op-ed, a spur that prompted the House of Swoosh to implement her proposal as general policy some five months later.
“It just shows the power of your voice and mine,” Felix said during the Q&A with Jenelle Riley, Varietyassociate editor of awards and features. “You can make changes and sometimes quite quickly.”
Felix’s many years of experience in discipline, planning and execution have prepared her well to enter the competitive athletic footwear arena with her Sasyh One line. As he prepares to launch the shoe line, Felix has learned that the vast majority of running shoes are made from uniform shoe designs that are almost always based on male feet. This is not the case for Saysh.
Felix said his company directly addresses the issue of women whose feet get bigger during pregnancy and, sometimes, after giving birth. The company promises to offer a free pair of sneakers in a new size to all customers who become pregnant.
“You don’t have to choose between motherhood and being a woman,” Felix said.
The decorated Olympian made no secret of her excitement for her new challenge of being the public face of her company and the chance to put her advocacy for women-friendly labor policies at Saysh into action.
“I am qualified to take this course,” she said. “It’s such a big new challenge.”
Kim and her longtime manager, Stoked Management’s Lowell Taub, opened up about the snowboarder’s unlikely career path. From her early days as an exceptionally talented 13-year-old snowboarder, she is now a top athlete and partner in content production and commerce company Together, alongside fellow athletes Sue Bird, Simone Manuel and Alex. Morgan. She also clarified that she was continuing the work in front of the camera.
“I like acting,” Kim told Elizabeth Wagmeister, Varietychief correspondent. “I love being on camera and reading lines. Hope you see me in some cool stuff.
Kim noted her surprise at how quickly her star rose as she racked up wins at the 2018 and 2022 Winter Olympics. At the 2018 Oscars, Best Actress winner Frances McDormand called out Kim in her acceptance remarks for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, saying she wanted to hit the slopes with her.
“Frances, I’m still waiting,” Kim joked.
“Frances, I’m still waiting!” Chloe Kim Sends a Message to Oscar Winner Frances McDormand After the Olympian Was Referenced in Her Best Actress Acceptance Speech, Kim Is Ready and Waiting to Hit the Slopes Together | Various sports and entertainment presented by @CityNational pic.twitter.com/16FeE4hwpJ
— Variety (@Variety) July 21, 2022