Runners Allyson Felix and Quanera Hayes Qualify for the Olympic 400m with 2-Year-Old Kids

Two exemplary athletes in the world of track and field, Quanera Hayes and Allyson Felix have proven that motherhood does not stand as a barrier to reaching the pinnacle of athletic achievement. Both women recently put on a captivating performance at the Olympic trials leading up to the Tokyo Olympics, which is scheduled for next month after a year's delay due to the pandemic.

The Olympic trials comprise of a series of competitive events spanning various sports like diving, curling, swimming, gymnastics, and track and field, serving as the determining stage for selecting athletes to represent the U.S. at the Games. The spotlight is now on Hayes and Felix, who showcased their athletic prowess in the 400m dash track and field trial finals. The event took place this Sunday at Hayward Field, situated in Eugene, Oregon.

Hayes and Felix triumphantly secured the top two spots, finishing with impressive times of 49.78 seconds and 50.02 seconds respectively. Their commendable performance has earned them a trip to Tokyo, along with Wadeline Jonathas, the third-place winner aged 23, who will also be joining them in representing the US at the Summer Olympics.

The trials witnessed the extraordinary performances of Hayes and Felix, both mothers to toddlers who had their initial encounter right after their mothers - who became parents just weeks apart from each other - found out about their successful qualification for Tokyo. The heartwarming instance was caught on camera as Hayes' two-year-old son, Demetrius, and Felix's two-year-old daughter, Camryn, shared a hug while their mothers mirrored their actions. Hayes characterized both of them as "super-mommies" during this beautiful interaction.

This victory holds an additional significance for both athletes and every woman balancing work and motherhood, a feat equivalent to an Olympic sport itself. Both of these women have been transparent about their journey of training for one of the most challenging and crucial moments of their athletic careers while being new mothers.

After confirming her qualification marking her first-ever Olympics, Hayes expressed her feelings to the Register-Guard about celebrating this achievement with Felix, a veteran Olympian, with nine Olympic medals and six golds to her name. "I expressed my gratitude to her for everything she has done for mothers. I thanked her for standing up for us and setting the course for me as an athlete. I appreciated her for staying true to herself and never giving in and acknowledged her contribution. I've admired Allyson for quite some time, and experiencing this with her as a fellow mother was truly special," she said.

The personal trials endured by runners Allyson Felix and Quanera Hayes have been publicly chronicled. Felix has openly shared about her complicated pregnancy and birth, as well as the life changes brought on by the global health crisis. In 2018, she was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia, leading to a premature delivery via an emergency C-section at just 32 weeks. This harrowing experience, coupled with concerns for her newborn daughter's health, led her to reassess her priorities - all before the pandemic began. Reflecting on those challenging times in the NICU, Felix acknowledged to Shape that her focus was far from competition - it was purely about being thankful for life and her daughter's presence. Even amid the disappointment of the postponed Games and other unforeseen circumstances, her perspective remained grounded in gratitude for basic health and wellness. (Refer: Olympian Allyson Felix On How Motherhood and the Pandemic Changed Her Outlook On Life) After the birth of Camryn, Felix was determined to use her platform not only to return to the track but also to draw attention to significant issues like the high mortality rate among Black mothers while advocating for greater gender equality. This determination resonated with her peers, as Kendall Ellis noted to the Register-Guard, affirming that seeing Felix continue her career inspired her belief that you can maintain a life, start a family, and still compete. Their hard work clearly paid off, demonstrating that parenthood doesn't have to signal the end of Olympic dreams - for Hayes, it's actually the starting point. There is a societal notion that one's best days are over after having a child, but Felix and Hayes stand as strong counterexamples. They're ready to take Tokyo by storm next month, and their children are among the thrilled millions eagerly waiting to see them triumph.

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