A New Cause for Dawes

August 26th, 2009 by Gymbit

In the 1990s, Dominique Dawes captured the attention of gymnastics fans around the world with many fantastic skills: a Hindorff on bars, three consecutive layouts on beam, two flip-flops to a full-in dismount, and back-to-back tumbling on floor. Though her lengthy competitive career spanned three Olympic Games and five World Championships, Dominique’s most successful competition was undoubtedly the 1994 U.S. Championships where she won all five available gold medals (Shannon Miller won all five silver medals, leaving only the bronze medals for all the other gymnasts!). Coached by Kelli Hill in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Dominique was the first Hill’s Angel to achieve national prominence.

“Awesome Dawesome” was on target to win all-around medals at the 1993 and 1994 World Championships and at the 1996 Olympic Games, but untimely fluke falls from this consistent gymnast prevented her from reaching the top of the record books. In 1996 Dominique was part of the Magnificent Seven that claimed gold in the team event in Atlanta.

In the years that followed, Dominique toured around the States with her Olympic teammates and then played the role of Patty Simcox in the Broadway version of Grease. The gym was calling, however, and Dominique regained top form in time for the 1998 Goodwill Games. She retired for good after helping her team to a fourth place finish at the 2000 Olympic Games.

Dominique’s most recent accomplishment was her induction into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, alongside other legends in the sport: the late Viktor Chukarin, Octavian Bellu, Elvira Saadi and Vitaly Scherbo. These days, Dominique puts her talents to use as a motivational speaker encouraging young people to live healthy and active lives. Organizations Dominique has worked with include the Girl Scouts, YMCA and YWCA, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) (International GYMNAST, July/August 2009).

Check out Dominique’s routines from each of the four events:

Vault, 1996 U.S. National Championships

Uneven Bars, 2000 Olympic Games

Balance Beam, 1996 Olympic Games

Floor Exercise, 1993 Hilton Challenge


3 Responses to “A New Cause for Dawes”

  1. Dave Says:

    That floor routine was insane.

  2. Gymbit Says:

    Yes, it was so high-energy and the choreography went so well with the music. Dominique was a fantastic tumbler, too!

  3. RJL Says:

    I agree, that floor routine has to be one of the best ever in terms of audience appeal and pure enjoyment! 🙂

Leave a Reply