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Dominique Dawes

Class of 2005· Disciplines(s): Women's Artistic· Inducted as: Athlete

Dawes was a member of the 1996 Gold Medal Olympic Team, where she also became the first African-American to win an individual event medal with her bronze on the floor. She and her teammates appeared on the Wheaties cereal box and also appeared on numerous television shows since their gold medal win. Dawes has appeared in the Broadway hit Grease and in Prince’s music video entitled “Betcha By Golly Wow.” She’s also trying her hand at acting and modeling.

Dawes won the 1996 Olympic Trials and all four events at the 1996 Coca-Cola National Championships. A 1992 Olympic Bronze Medalist and a four-time World Championships medalist, she has won more national championships since 1963 (15) than any other athlete, male or female. She swept the 1994 Coca-Cola National Championships, winning the all-around and all four event titles, the first gymnast to accomplish this feat since Joyce Tanac Schroeder won the all-around and all four events at the 1969 AAU National Championships. Dawes won the 1995 Arch McDonald Award, presented by the Touchdown Club of Washington, D.C. She also won the 1995 Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award, presented annually to two outstanding athletes who have demonstrated good citizenship. She was named 1994 Sportsperson of the Year by USA Gymnastics and was a finalist for the 1994 AAU Sullivan Award, which recognizes the USA’s top amateur athlete. Her coach and teammates called her “Awesome Dawesome.”

She successfully made a comeback in 2000 and won a team bronze medal in her third Olympic Games.

Dominique is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park. While she was a full-time student, she remained focused and committed to her multiple career opportunities, which included motivational speaking, broadcasting, and private coaching. Due to her drive and dedication, Dominique is becoming a renowned public speaker and spokesperson for many different campaigns and companies. These experiences have ranged from educating the public on health-related issues, consulting with a sports apparel line of clothing, engaging communities on public issues of equality and political concerns, and supporting Olympic bids, Chesapeake Region 2012 Coalition.