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Most decorated American in Olympic track and field to retire: 'One last run'

Felix said she's running her last season for women — and one very important person.

Allyson Felix, who closed the Tokyo Games last year with more Olympic medals than any U.S. track and field athlete in history, says she will retire after the 2022 season.

“I want to say goodbye and thank you to the sport and people who have helped shape me the only way I know how—with one last run. This season isn’t about the time on the clock, it’s simply about joy,” Felix said in an Instagram post Wednesday. “If you see me on the track this year I hope to share a moment, a memory and my appreciation with you.”

Felix said her record-setting career has grown far beyond her early expectations —  but that it has taken a lot from her.  

"As a little girl they called chicken legs, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I’d have a career like this," she wrote. "I have so much gratitude for this sport that has changed my life. I have given everything I have to running and for the first time I’m not sure if I have anything left to give."

At age 35, Felix won a bronze medal in the 400 meters last summer in Tokyo, then followed it up with a gold medal in the 4x400 relay.

Those were her 10th and 11th Olympic medals, which helped her pass Carl Lewis in the U.S. record book and left her behind only one runner in history, Finland's Paavo Nurmi, who won 12 medals between 1920 and 1928.

Her last major meets figure to be the U.S. championships from June 23-26, then the world championships, which take place in Eugene, Oregon, from July 15-24.

Felix also has a record 13 gold medals and 18 overall from world championships.

More recently, she has become an outspoken advocate for women. Her daughter, Camryn, was born in 2018. Around the same time, Felix cut ties with Nike, upset with the way the company treated pregnant athletes.

RELATED: After Nike split, Allyson Felix goes on to become most decorated athlete in track and field wearing her own shoe brand

In her Instagram post, she said: “This season I’m running for women. I’m running for a better future for my daughter.” 

Val Lick contributed to this report. 

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