Black Gymnasts in History: Dominique Dawes


Dawes (2)


Well—not enough can be said about Dominique Dawes. She truly inspired not only thousands of girls to take up and pursue excellence in gymnastics—including the 2012 Olympic Champion—but oh so many non-gymnasts by her achievements, longevity and yes—the awesome way that she performed her routines.

She is the only U.S. gymnast to medal in three Olympics—just the fact that she made three Olympic Teams is amazing. So long at the top of the sport – this intensified her impact not just for African Americans but also for all who admire the sport of gymnastics.

Dominique continues to inspire and has a long list of achievements outside of gymnastics. I was fortunate over the years to work alongside or closely with Dominique. We were both on Broadway at the same time and both worked in broadcasting and both served as President of the Women’s Sports Foundation.

I so appreciate that she has always supported my gymnastics foundation going back to the beginning—when she visited our free summer program in 1996 and in 2008, and spoke at my reception in NYC when I was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Superstar is an understatement, incredible is close, but “Awesome” will always be associated with Dominique Dawes. We are proud to feature her today in our Black Gymnasts in History Project.

Read a full profile on Dominique by NRP here:

Watch a video of Dominique’s 1996 Olympic medal-winning floor routine:


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