Olympic Track and Field Coach Returns to Neighborhood Celebration

NBC 5 News

There was no way Mechelle Freeman’s Frisco neighborhood would allow her to come home without celebrating what she’d just accomplished.

They piled into their cars and circled the block for a drive-by caravan celebration.

Freeman is the woman behind the scenes, and behind several medals draped over the necks of the United States' most dominant track and field starts during the 2020 Olympic Games.

“We ended it on a high note and a special note and so I’m just glad to say that I was a part of it all,” Freeman said.

As a coach for the U.S. women’s relay teams, and a former Olympian herself, Freeman knew the weight of the task ahead.

“You have hard conversations and hard decisions to make but at the end of the day it’s about putting the four best women out there that you think can get the job done,” she said.

One of those women was Allyson Felix – the most decorated U.S. track and field athlete in Olympics history. Freeman reflected on coaching the 4x400m relay that earned Felix her final Olympic gold.

“We’ve run together. We’ve passed the baton to one another,” she said. “So, for me to actually be a coach now, and to be there and witness her last Olympics games and be there in that moment of her final run was really a special time.”

Back in her Frisco neighborhood Sunday, she exchanged the role of coach for mother and wife -- and perhaps local celebrity.

“You’re so into the job and the role, just trying to make the best decisions and put the best team together, that when you take a step back, I feel like I can breathe,” Freeman said.

She said she planned to spend the next several hours soaking in the love of those who’ve been her support system all along.

“Just being home, that’s all I want to do for the next two days,” Freeman said.

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