Bob Kersee does what he calls the bar test to assess name recognition.
Walk into a moderately crowded bar, the celebrated track and field coach says, and toss out the names Mickey Mantle, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Carl Lewis. Someone in the crowd will be able to fill you in on each of those sports superstars.
“Even if it’s only one person who knows,” Kersee said.
Now put Allyson Felix into that mix.
Kersee knows the result almost certainly will be blank stares, and that is enough to drive a man to drink.
“It’s time for Allyson to be recognized in the same way as some of the great American athletes, if not world athletes, of all time,” Kersee said.
Why should she be?
Since winning a senior national indoor title three months before her graduation from Los Angeles Baptist High School in 2003, Felix has been one of the world’s top sprinters. No woman in history has won as many world outdoor championship gold medals as her nine. No track and field athlete in the last three Olympics has won more medals than her six – four golds, two silvers.