Gold medalist Dominique Dawes is set to open up her own gymnastics academy in Clarksburg, Maryland.
In the spring of 2020, three-time Olympian Dominique Dawes will open the Dominique Dawes Gymnastics Academy. The 43-year-old Silver Spring native is still passionate about the sport that catapulted her to fame back in 1996 when the United States team (called the Magnificent Seven) took home the all-around gold for the first time in Olympic history.
Her goal is to open up a facility that promotes a positive and healthy culture.
"I am so excited to bring on board positive coaches and coaches that are truly going to teach each and every one of those young kids that walk through the doors as if it's their own kid," Dawes said to Fox5DC.com.
Despite always being tall for my age, my dream as a kid was to be an Olympic gymnast, and Dominique Dawes, along with the rest of the Magnificent Seven, was an idol of mine. I love that as a mom of four, she's trying to leave a lasting legacy in gymnastics.
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Personally, I think this comes at a perfect time after the sport has been negatively portrayed in the headlines in recent years, due to the Larry Nassar scandal. After such harrowing revelations about the sport's history of physical and sexual abuse, it's uplifting to see positive people wanting to make a difference. And who better than a former elite athlete that knows the ins and outs of the sport?
In her interview with Fox5's Good Day D.C., Dawes explains that her hope is that her Dominique Dawes Gymnastic Academy is just the first of many gyms that she opens up. Her mission is to provide "a safe, supportive and empowering gymnastics and ninja gym for all!" Her website goes on to say, "We aspire to inspire today’s generation of gymnasts and more. In a safe, caring, and uplifting environment, our athletes will develop the characteristics and self-confidence to reach their fullest potential in and out of the gym."
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Are you a gymnastics fan? Do you have little ones that love to leap and tumble? What do you think of Dominique Dawes' newest venture? Let us know in the comments!