"Dominique was great. What a genuinely nice person. Dominique did everything we asked of her and more. She was excellent with the kids as well as with the adults. Her speech was directed at the kids, which was perfect, but also very well received by everyone. We had a great night."
-Bud Hornbeck, LSL Insurance
Success is a Journey, Not a Destination
Dominique Dawes won Olympic gold. But, for her, success is so much more than medals and accolades: it’s something she worked hard to achieve everyday en route to Olympic glory. Her journey in the sport of gymnastics lasted 18 years and in those years she stood strong on numerous podiums--leaving lasting impressions in the hearts of fans. The podium was the destination, the long term goal, however, it’s the moments in between she calls the “journey” that helped her realize the success that she was always striving for. Overcoming the inevitable obstacles, challenges, and doubts are the moments in the journey that build the champion in Dawes. Surrounding herself with the right team, developing the mindset to persevere and turning negative situations into life lessons is how Dawes realized Success is a Journey, NOT a Destination.
Envision Reaching Your Full Potential
ENVISION is Dawes’ signature message. It is also the title of her motivational line of products. ENVISION is an acronym for the 8 principles that helped Dawes become successful in and out of the athletic arena. She crafts this speech specifically to motivate and empower the audience to envision greatness in their own lives. The core focuses are passion, plan and perseverance.
Building a Strong Foundation for Success
Building a solid foundation was one of the keys to Dawes’ success. Her emphasis on a solid foundation touches on multiples areas: from healthy lifestyle choices to developing positive self-esteem where she addresses issues such as peer pressures, productive attitudes and values. The audience will walk away empowered, motivated, and, more importantly, clear on what it takes to build a strong foundation worthy of your dreams.
Got D-3? Determination, Dedication, Desire
D-3 became Dawes’ personal motto when she was an Olympic athlete in the making. Fatigue, frustration and loss of focus were common in such a perfectionist sport. D-3 kept Dawes focused on what was going to allow her to stay on the path to success. She paints a vivid picture of moments in the gymnastics arena where D-3 inspired her to persevere through setbacks and struggles, sacrifices and insecurities, en route to Olympic Gold. D-3 has become a staple in Dawes’ athletic and professional accomplishments. She inspires audiences to develop their own personal motto that will help define and direct them in life too!
Dominique Dawes is best known for her tremendous success as an Olympic gymnast who competed in three Olympic Games, winning team medals in all three Olympic Games becoming the only American gymnast to do so and has a permanent place in the U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame. Fans across the nation and around the world remember her as a member of the gold medal winning “Magnificent Seven” at the 1996 Atlanta Games, where she also won a bronze medal as she wowed the crowed with her stunning performance in the floor exercise, becoming the first female African-American gymnast to win an individual medal. She also earned a bronze medal with the U.S. team in the 1992 Barcelona Games and made a surprising comeback in the 2000 Sydney Games. On August 11th, 2010 the IOC awarded Dawes and her teammates from the 2000 Olympics with a team Bronze medal.
Dawes’ start in gymnastics began at the age of 6. Her first and only coach, Kelli Hill quickly realized her potential, and Dawes began competing at the age of 10. She burst into the international spotlight at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, where she was one of the first African-American female gymnasts to compete and qualify to an Olympic Games through the Olympic trials in Baltimore, MD.
At these Games, she and her teammates captured a bronze medal. Fans will recall that she was the gymnast that wowed the audience with her unique ‘up-and-back’ tumbling pass that consisted of 11 skills, spanning from one end of the floor to the other. “I could never hear my floor music after that tumbling pass,” Dawes recalled. “The crowd would be cheering so loud; I would just have to dance to their cheers. It was an amazing feeling.”
Throughout her career, Dawes has won more National Championship medals than any other athlete, male or female, since 1963, as well as numerous World Championship medals. One of Dawes’ greatest feats came when she swept all four events and won the All Around title at the 1994 National Championships.
“Winning my first national title was exciting,” Dawes said. “I was struggling for over a month each and every day of practice leading up to the Nationals. I couldn’t stay on the balance beam to save my life. My consistency and confidence were failing. I am not sure if it was the pressure of the sport getting to me, but whatever it was, it made it difficult to stay focused on my goals. One day after practice, Mrs. Norman, a parent of a teammate, took me aside and said the kindest words to me. She didn’t add pressure or give me advice; she showed me compassion. To this day, her words still resonate in my head and inspire me to stay focused whenever times get tough. I learned then that saying the right words, at the right time, can lift someone’s spirit. I aspire to offer those same kind words to those that I come in contact with.”
Dawes is much more than an accomplished gymnast, though. After retiring from the sport to which she dedicated 18 years of her life, Dawes has found a new passion empowering others. She is an accomplished motivational speaker, speaking to audiences of hundreds and thousands on topics focusing on passion, leadership, teamwork, health, fitness and wellness. Dawes’ message empowers vast audiences, from corporate executives to small business owners, women’s organizations to youth service organizations, and high school to college-age students; her passion and energy is captivating and leaves a lasting effect on those she inspires.
Since Dawes’ first passion in life was gymnastics, she continues to educate those on the grassroots level. She hosts FUNdamentals with Dominique Dawes – one-day gymnastics clinics for competitive level gymnasts of all ages, with a focus on fundamentals, goal-setting, and mental toughness.