Bride & Groom MOM Subscribe

Find Local

Olympic Moments: Dominique Dawes

Where does life take you after you’ve experienced Olympic glory? These past Olympians look back—and ahead.

Photograph by Christopher Leaman.
In 1996 Dawes shared a team gold as part of the Magnificent Seven in Atlanta. Photograph by Eric Feferberg/Newscom.

Dominique Dawes
Olympian in 1992, 1996, 2000
Team bronze, 1992; team gold and individual bronze, floor exercise, 1996; team bronze, 2000

As a child growing up in Silver Spring, Dominique Dawes wanted to be the world’s best gymnast. At age ten, she moved in with her coach to make getting to practice on time—twice a day—easier on everyone.

That tenacity produced four Olympic medals, including a bronze on floor exercise in 1996.

Now 36, she says her priorities have changed but that she’s just as driven. She pours her passion into advocacy and public speaking.

“I think in life, people prepare to succeed or prepare to fail,” says Dawes. As cochair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and as someone who works closely with the First Lady on her “Let’s Move!” initiative, Dawes works to equip children for success.

When she was young, she says, she had little self-confidence. She was in a judged sport—which can breed self-esteem issues—and tied her value so tightly to gymnastics that she didn’t know what to do when she was competing poorly.

Which is why her work with the Girl Scouts, as spokesperson for the Uniquely ME! Self-Esteem Program, hits home: “When my gymnastics career was over, I wanted to empower young girls. I don’t want kids to think negatively about themselves like I did, but about the person they are, the character they have.”

Read more Olympic Moments.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular on Washingtonian

Take a Look Inside DC's Newest French Spot: Bistro L'Hommage

Labor Day Weekend in DC: Your Ultimate Guide to Celebrating the Last Week of Summer

The Kennedy Center Has a Skate Park Now

Where to Find the Best Barbecue Joints in Washington, DC

Your Brunch Guide for Labor Day Weekend in DC

Here's Why Dating Sucks in DC, Ladies: You're Just Too Educated

Labor Day Weekend in DC: Dining and Drinking Events

Things to Do in DC This Weekend September 3-6: Ruby Rose, National Book Festival, and Skateboarding at the Kennedy Center

The Redskins' Latest Fiasco, Explained