She didn't save US track. She didn't salvage its image. She isn't going to become a mainstream sports icon or the next big thing in American track. That's what Allyson Felix was supposed to do for the past eight years.
What she did in winning the Olympic 200-meter gold Wednesday was much more important, much more personal. She had lived with silver medals in the past two Olympics, with the torture of having to work for, and wait for, four years each time to get another chance.
This time, rather than living up to the plans of shoe companies, marketers and image-builders, Felix found a higher standard. Her own. And in the end, that's going to give her all the glory she needs.
"What was fresh on my mind (before the race) was the individual defeat and those emotions," she said. "Four years ago and the four years before that. It's been a long time coming."
She lost in the 2004 Athens Games to Veronica Campbell-Brown, and then in 2008 to Campbell-Brown again. On Wednesday, there was C...