Dominique Dawes: A Champion For Our Communities
During her teenage years, in the mid 1990’s, Dominique Dawes captured the Olympic spotlight, becoming a three-time Olympian, a World Championships silver medalist and a member of the gold-medal winning “Magnificent Seven” at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Dawes is also notable as being the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic medal in artistic gymnastics, and the first black person of any nationality or gender to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics.
After devoting 18 years to gymnastics, she retired, and then worked on Broadway and for TV news.
In 2010, President Obama appointed her as co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition where she now focuses on combating something that First Lady Michelle Obama is passionate about: childhood obesity and educating women on cardiovascular disease. She recently partnered with Sweet’N Low to raise awareness on diabetes, which affects more than 25 million Americans, including some of her family members.
In an interview with Tell Me More host Michel Martin, Dawes says she’s just an everyday person: “When I retired from the sport at 23 years old, I was no longer training the five to seven hours a day in the gym for six days a week; and like everyone, I put on the 15 or 20 pounds during my freshman year in college.”
She says she no longer strives for an “Olympic physique,” and now, at age 40, she loves her body and understands the importance of regular exercise to maintain physical and emotional health.
In her current role, her mission is to engage, educate, and empower all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition.
Throughout her career, she has won more National Championship medals than any other athlete, male or female, since 1963, as well as numerous World Championship medals. One of her greatest feats came when she swept all four events and won the All Around title at the 1994 National Championships. As a multiple…