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Allyson Felix to go for 2020 Olympics as a mother

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Allyson Felix will try to make a fifth Olympic team in 2020, but it would be her first as a mom.

Felix, a nine-time Olympic sprint medalist, wrote that she had daughter Camryn on Nov. 28 via emergency C-section 32 weeks into her pregnancy, according to ESPN.com. The news was confirmed Thursday morning.

“I didn’t care if I ever ran track again. I was just praying that she would be OK,” Felix wrote, according to the report. “The thing I remember most about the November 28 surgery is that I barely got to see her face or hear her cry.”

Felix, 33, wrote that Camryn, born at 3 pounds, 7 ounces, will be in the NICU “for a while, but she’s OK and I’m so, so grateful.”

Felix said the surgery was scheduled because the baby’s heart rate was decelerating and her own blood pressure was too high.

“I’ve always wanted to be a mother,” she wrote. “This shouldn’t be a secret. I want to share this journey with everyone who has ever known me or cheered for me.”

Felix, who is married to former sprinter Kenneth Ferguson, said she learned she was pregnant in May during a season where she scantly competed. Ardent track and field followers first learned of the typically private Felix’s pregnancy and marriage on Thursday.

“Having a child felt like I’d be risking my career and disappointing everyone who expected me to always put running first,” she wrote. “This is a risk. It could affect how I run in 2019 and 2020. I know it’s going to be tough in a way that I haven’t experienced before. But I’m up for it.

“If I come back and I’m just not the same, if I can’t make a fifth Olympic team, I’m gonna know that I fought, that I was determined, and that I gave it my absolute all. And if it doesn’t end up the way I imagined in my head, it’ll be OK. I just have to go for it, because that’s just simply who we are now.”

Felix is already the most decorated female U.S. Olympic track and field athlete with nine medals. She’s one shy of Carl Lewis‘ record for any U.S. track and field athlete and three shy of the most medals for a U.S. woman in any sport. She could tie the record for U.S. Olympic track and field appearances in Tokyo. But Felix will be 34 in 2020, and the U.S. is deep in her best event, the 400m, with 20-somethings.

Felix also owns 16 world outdoor championships medals, most for any track and field athlete in history.

Back in June, she did not enter the USATF Outdoor Championships for the first time since 2002, when she was 16 years old. With no world outdoor championships or Olympics this year, it wasn’t seen as major news.

“In the 19 years that I’ve been running track, I’ve never taken a break,” Felix said in May. “Never had a year where I took it easy. … Now that this is kind of a year without a championship, I’ve had to force myself to have a different approach because my goal is 2020. … To be able to be at my best when it counts, I think that means not having as intense of a year as I usually do. Being a competitor and an athlete, that’s something that I struggle with. … This year, that’s what I’m really trying to force myself to do is have quality races, quality over quantity. … So, if you guys don’t see me at as many of the races as I usually run, don’t worry, I’m fine, I’m just challenging myself to be smarter.”

Star sprinters to compete at the Olympics as moms include the Netherlands’ Fanny Blankers-Koen, who earned four golds at the 1948 London Games while also holding two world records in events that she didn’t enter at those Games.

Wilma Rudolph had daughter Yolanda two years before sweeping the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Evelyn Ashford earned 4x100m golds in 1988 and 1992 after becoming a mom.

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Lindsey Vonn and her dog to host Amazing Race-like series

Lindsey Vonn
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Lindsey Vonn and one of her three dogs, Lucy, will host “The Pack,” an “Amazing Race”-like series where dogs and their humans compete in challenges across continents.

The Amazon Prime show filmed earlier this year and will premiere later in 2020. Production included a team of veterinarians and dog experts to ensure “a positive experience for everyone.”

Twelve teams vie for a prize of $500,000, plus $250,000 for the animal charity of their choice.

Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion and female record holder with 82 World Cup wins, retired after the February 2019 World Championships, four shy of the overall victories record held by Swede Ingemar Stenmark.

She traveled the last few years of her career with Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that she got in Italy in January 2016. Lucy required German, Italian and American passports to accompany Vonn on the ski circuit.

Vonn previously adopted rescue dogs Leo, a brindle boxer to help her through recovery from knee surgery that kept her out of the 2014 Olympics, and Bear.

Vonn’s previous broadcast credits included a 2010 appearance as a secretary on “Law & Order,” two judge spots on “Project Runway” and an episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” in 2016.

MORE: Lindsey Vonn’s mom is tough as nails

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London Marathon mass event canceled; Kipchoge, Bekele still to race

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The London Marathon will not hold a mass participation race of 40,000-plus runners, but will have an elites-only event featuring the fastest marathoners in history on a different course.

Organizers announced that the World Marathon Major, previously rescheduled for Oct. 4 from April 26, will be restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Elite runners, including world-record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei and Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest man in history, will instead race but not on the usual route around London landmarks.

They will run on an enclosed looped in St. James’s Park in a “secure biosphere” without spectator access. Elite wheelchair racers, including past champions David Weir and Manuela Schar, will also compete.

Before canceling, London Marathon organizers planned to use Bluetooth and wideband ranging to monitor every participant’s distance from each other, though they did not specify if the event would have still included more than 40,000 runners.

If a participant spent more than 15 minutes within a specified distance of anyone else, and if somebody had informed organizers they contracted the virus within two weeks after the race, he or she would have been contacted.

“Despite all our efforts, the fantastic support from all of our partners and the progress that has been made on planning for the return of smaller mass participation events that are not on the roads, it has not been possible to go ahead with a mass socially distanced walk or run,” event director Hugh Brasher said in press release.

Four of the other five annual World Marathon Majors this year were canceled — Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City. The earliest major, Tokyo, was held March 1 with elite runners only.

Kipchoge, the Olympic marathon champion from Kenya, and Bekele, a three-time Olympic track champion from Ethiopia, were previously announced as headliners for London in the winter, before the pandemic.

Kipchoge lowered the world record to 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. Bekele clocked 2:01:41 in Berlin last September. They are the only men to ever break 2:02 in a marathon. Kipchoge also clocked 1:59:40 at a non-record-eligible event in Vienna on Oct. 12 instead of racing a fall marathon.

Kipchoge has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

Bekele, the more accomplished track athlete with Olympic golds and world records at 5000m and 10,000m, has been a roller-coaster road runner.

Bekele owns two of the seven fastest marathons in history, recorded three years apart in Berlin. In between, he failed to finish two marathons and, in his last London start in 2018, clocked a pedestrian 2:08:53 for sixth place.

That was more than four minutes behind Kipchoge, who is undefeated in four London starts and has beaten by Bekele by at least 100 seconds in all four of their head-to-head marathons.

The Kenyan Kosgei took 81 seconds off Paula Radcliffe‘s 16-year-old women’s marathon world record on Oct. 13, clocking 2:14:04 to win the Chicago Marathon.

The 2021 London Marathon will also be held in October to give a better chance of holding a mass race than in April.

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