At just 22, U.S. track and field star Sydney McLaughlin has already won two Olympic gold medals and shattered the women's 400-meter hurdles world record -- twice. On Monday the New Jersey native added another line to her increasingly-stacked resume: her own footwear and apparel collection.
The "New Balance x Sydney Signature Collection" -- which features everything from warm-up ponchos to jumpsuits and sneakers, all intended to support performance and fashion -- is "very authentic to who I am and the message I want to get across."
New Balance openly received McLaughlin and her message during the design and styling process.
"From the first meeting to the final approval process Syd has been so engaged in bringing this to life," New Balance apparel designer Rachel Walder said in a statement. "Her drive on the track easily transitioned to the design of this collection. We know this is just the beginning for Syd and we're excited to play a part in her journey on and off the track."
McLaughlin's journey to stardom garnered national attention during the 2016 Rio Olympics, when she became the youngest U.S. track and field Olympian ever at age 17.
That would be far from the only record she'd go on to break.
In June's Olympic trials, McLaughlin became the first woman to shatter the 52-second barrier in the women's 400-meter hurdles by finishing in 51.90. She then bested that world-record time by a whopping 44 tenths of a second to win the event's gold medal in Tokyo.
McLaughlin also took home gold in the women's 4x400-meter relay in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a win that gave fellow American Allyson Felix her record 11th medal. That experience was "amazing" and "really special" for McLaughlin, who idolized the five-time Olympian Felix since she was roughly eight years old.
Despite being atop her sport, McLaughlin continues her strive to improve thanks to her "be the first you" motto -- one prominently featured in the "New Balance x Sydney Signature Collection." Her symbol for the motto is a butterfly. To McLaughlin, butterflies represent "the idea of evolving into your true version of yourself, who you're meant to be."
The athlete McLaughlin is meant to be, in her view, has yet to arrive.
"I think it's just the idea of constantly wanting to improve," McLaughlin said. "I've never had a perfect race. I think there's so much growth for me to attain. My coach and I are constantly just pushing the boundaries for myself and really striving in every single race to be better than I was before. It's been really cool, kind of just my personal progression to strive to be better and better every time I step on the track."