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Allyson Felix wrapped herself in the stars and stripes as she passed Carl Lewis to become the country's most decorated track and field athlete in U.S. Olympic history after winning gold with her teammates in the 4x400m relay.
The 35-year-old mother-of-one's medal count now stands at 11 after a dominant race
While it's a traditional act among Olympians, some Black American athletes have not embraced it during these games as a show of protest in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Allyson Felix has become the USA's most decorated track and field athlete in Olympics history
(Left to right) Felix, Athing Mu, Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin celebrate their gold medal win
Felix takes the baton from McLaughlin as USA dominate the 4x400m relay final
During the games, women's hammer throw finalist Gwen Barry raised her fist before and wore a shirt that read, 'Activist Athlete.' She also refused to face the American flag as the national anthem played during the U.S. Olympic trails.
The 32-year-old finished 11th out of 12 with a distance of 71.35 meters.
Despite her defeat, Berry seemed unbothered by the social media criticism.
When asked about her critics by another fan, Berry responded: 'Man they on the couch watching me hahahaha weirdos.'
American fencer Race Imboden, who won bronze, and shot putter Raven Saunders, a silver medalist, also raised their hands in an 'X' to show solidarity between people of color and the LBGTQ community during the games.
While the acts of defiance are normally punished with Olympic bans, the American athletes did not face consequences this year, PBS reports.
The International Olympic Committee had begun investigating whether Saunders, a black women who is openly gay, violated its rules with her demonstration. The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee is backing Saunders.
The USPOC said that the “peaceful expression in support of racial and social justice” didn’t violate its own rules for demonstration.
The investigation is currently suspended following the death of Saunders' mother, Clarissa, on Aug. 3.
Gwen Barry raised a first before the women's hammer throw final during the Olympic Games
Raven Saunders, who women the silver medal in women's shot put, raised her arms into an 'X' to show support for intersectionality
Race Imboden, the American fencer who won bronze, also showed solidarity during the games
Rather than make political statements, Felix celebrated his historic achievement with her teammates Athing Mu, Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin, all coming together under their nation's flag.
'For me, I just really came out at peace and I wanted to soak it in completely,' said Felix. 'We all do different things and it was really cool to come together to close out the Olympic Games, and for me, my Olympic career.'
While this was her fifth consecutive appearance at the Olympic Games, this was her first Olympics as a mother.
This was Allyson Felix's first Olympics as a mother after the birth of her daughter, Camryn
Camryn has become one of her mother's biggest fans, cheering for her victory
Felix, a California native, gave birth to her daughter, Camryn, in 2018 after battling preeclampsia and undergoing an emergency C-section, according to her Olympic biography.
'She's really into cheering now,' Allyson told E!. 'So whenever she sees me running, she's like, 'Run, mama, run,' and she's really into just being a little cheerleader. It's really fun to just see how the process develops and how she becomes more active.'
Track was actually not the runner's first love. She used to play basketball when she was a kid and would always show off her love for the late Kobe Bryant.
It wasn't until she attended Los Angeles Baptist High School that she began to run track, with her teammates calling her 'chicken legs.'
Following her daughter's birth, Felix became an outspoken advocate for mothers in pro sports, arguing that female athletes are not given the same opportunity for stardom as male athletes in the same sport.
The United States team took the gold medal in the final of the women's 4 x 400-meter relay at the 2020 Summer Olympics
The team won by nearly 4 seconds ahead of Poland and Jamaica
Allyson Felix is the most decorated track and field athlete in U.S. Olympics history
Felix earned her first medal in the 2004 Athens Games, where she took home the silver in the women's 200 meter race at just 18 years old.
She went on to win six gold and three silver medals in the previous games, with her bronze in the 400 meters and gold in the 4x400 relay in these latest games elevating her to historic heights.
Carl Lewis, the previous most-decorated U.S. Olympic athlete in track, had won 10 medals.
Lewis was a track and field star who won nine gold medals and one silver medal during his Olympic career, which spanned from 1979 to 1996.
Carl Lewis, pictured, had been the most decorated track and field athlete in U.S. Olympic history for 25 years with 10 medals. Carol Felix beat that record on Aug. 7