Dominique Dawes - USA
A true all-around talent, Dominique Dawes has gone on to even greater accomplishments since concluding her competitive career after three Olympics.
Born Nov. 20, 1976, in Silver Spring, Md., Dawes, who was coached throughout her career by Kelli Hill, made her first Olympic team in 1992, when the U.S. won a bronze.
Four years later she was part of the Magnificent Seven that won the Olympic gold in Atlanta, where she also became the first African-American to win an individual Olympic gymnastics medal – bronze on floor exercise. After a brief retirement, which included a role as the character Patty Simcox, in "Grease" on Broadway, Dawes returned to training and made the 2000 Olympic team.
Known for her dimpled smile and sensational back-to-back tumbling passes on floor exercise, "Awesome Dawesome" was simply dominant in 1994, when she won the all-around and all four apparatus titles at the U.S. championships. Over her career, she amassed 15 individual U.S. titles, the most of any American woman.
Though untimely mistakes ruined her chances of a major all-around title at both the 1993 World Championships and 1996 Olympics, Dawes always bounced back. Perhaps that is why she has been so successful outside the world of competitive gymnastics since her retirement. Dawes has served as President of the Women's Sports Foundation and worked as a television commentator. She covered the 2008 Beijing Olympics for Yahoo! Sports and inspires young gymnasts through clinics. She also does corporate speaking, where her motivational message is titled "Envision: Reaching Your Full Potential."
Surely, Dominique Dawes knows what she's talking about.
2009 INTERNATIONAL GYMNASTICS HALL OF FAME
Inducted as a member of the Class of 2009
Bronze: Floor Exercise
1993 World Championships
Silver: Uneven Bars, Balance Beam
1994 World Championships
1996 World Championships
Bronze: Balance Beam