Allyson Felix Wins First Gold at Beijing Olympics

Allyson Felix won her first Olympic gold medal Saturday after a disappointing week at the Beijing Games.

Felix and U.S. teammates came from behind to win the 1,600-meter relay, completing it in 3 minutes, 18.54 seconds – the world's fastest time since 1993. It was the United State's fourth straight Olympic win in the event.

The 22-year-old track and field star had come to Beijing with gold-medal hopes, but the dream failed to materialize until this final weekend.

At this year's Olympic Games, the track and field events have been dominated by Jamaica, leading some in the media to dub it the "Jamaican Olympics."

While Felix did earn a silver medal for the 200-meter dash – the same event she won a silver medal in at the 2004 Games in Athens – she said she was "disappointed not to get gold."

"The start was bad and the end wasn't that great either," she told The Associated Press, reflecting on her race.

However, she added more optimistically, "I'm grateful for the silver."

Felix is one of several Olympians featured on the BeyondtheUltimate.org website, sponsored by the ministry Athletes in Action, and has expressed how blessed she feels that God gave her the gift to run fast. Her father is an ordained minister and a New Testament professor at The Master's Seminary in Sun Valley, Calif., and while many athletes compete for personal glory, Felix says she wants to use her talent to glorify God.

"And that's my purpose: to run to glorify Him," Felix said.

On her page at BeyondTheUltimate.org, Felix stated that her faith is "definitely" the most important aspect of her life, and that her goal is to be "more Christ-like each and every day."

"I know that I'm trying to be something different from [other Olympic runners] and after I run I hope that people can distinguish [Christ-like] character in the way I present myself," she wrote.

Addressing the issue of pressure, Felix said her favorite verse is Philippians 4:6-7, where it says do not be anxious about anything but just pray and trust in the Lord.

"[T]hroughout the struggles of life my faith calms my heart. I try to stay in the [Bible] and I pray a lot, just talking to God," she said. "He provides my strength and wisdom."

Other Olympians featured on the BeyondtheUltimate.org Web Site include Brian Clay, the 2004 Olympic decathlon silver medalist, and Ryan Hall, a 2008 Olympic marathon runner.