3-Time Olympic Champion Dominique Dawes to Open Her Own Gymnastics Academy

Dominique Dawes is a three-time Olympic champion and the first Black woman to have won an individual Olympic medal in women’s gymnastics. Now at 43-years old, Dawes is taking on a new journey as an entrepreneur and is planning to open her very own gymnastics academy in Maryland.

Dawes, also known as ‘Awesome Dawesome’ in the gymnastics community, was just 10-years old when she started competing as a junior elite. During her gymnastics career, she won many awards and medals, making her one of the most decorated gymnasts in the world.

After retiring from gymnastics, Dawes started a family and became a mother of four. She wanted to also expose her children early to the world of gymnastics like her, and it has always been one of her inspirations to start her own gymnastics academy.

“All four of my kids are my motivation!” she told Black Enterprise. “They will be active in the gymnastics and ninja programs and I couldn’t be more proud to build a community to empower and positively encourage today’s generation of gymnasts and beyond.”

Dawes grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and she will launch the Dominique Dawes Gymnastics Academy in Clarksburg, Maryland, just 30 miles away from her hometown. The center aims to be “a safe, supportive and empowering gymnastics and ninja gym for all,” according to their website.

Aside from training athletes in gymnastics, the center will also focus on fostering connections, creating memories, and building their self-confidence and characteristics that are necessary in and out of the gym.

“Words leave a lasting impact on the self-esteem of a young child, which is why it’s beyond gold medals here at Dominique Dawes Gymnastics Academy. Every child that walks through our doors will know that they are valued. My amazing staff will understand that the most important kid is the one standing right in front of them,” she said.

Dawes said she plans to expand the academy and open other locations across Maryland someday. She

“This is me leaving a lasting legacy in the sport of gymnastics. I know I was able to do it as an athlete. This is my way of doing it by creating a healthy, positive encouraging gymnastics community in this area, in the state of Maryland, that has been so supportive of me throughout my whole career.”

For more information about the academy, visit or follow on Instagram @dawesgymnasticsacademy