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4-time Olympic medalist Dominique Dawes on how she defines success

4-time Olympic medalist Dominique Dawes on how she defines success 

Dominique Dawes on bringing a champion's mindset to business

Dominique Dawes, four-time Olympic medalist, by no means had it straightforward as an elite athlete, and has not had it straightforward as a small enterprise proprietor.

The world-renowned, extremely adorned gymnast is certainly one of solely three American girls to compete in three completely different Olympic video games, and was the primary Black girl to obtain a person Olympic medal in gymnastics. However her success had its prices. 

“I went by a really difficult childhood, in some extent, the place I sacrificed my childhood to win an Olympic gold medal,” Dawes advised CNBC’s Dominic Chu at Wednesday’s Small Enterprise Playbook occasion. “It was 24/7 work, work, work, and for those who weren’t doing effectively within the gymnastics health club, you felt little of your self.” 

When Dawes determined to change into an entrepreneur, and based Dominique Dawes Gymnastics Academy, her timing couldn’t have been worse. She signed a 10-year lease simply earlier than the Covid-19 pandemic started. 

“We had been speculated to open our doorways April 2020, nevertheless, we had been somewhat delayed. … It is undoubtedly been a really rocky journey, however I do consider what does not kill us makes us stronger.”

Dominique Dawes of the USA stretches on the stability beam throughout her routine on the Georgia Dome within the 1996 Olympic Video games in Atlanta, Georgia.

Doug Pensinger /Allsport | Getty Photographs

The primary location opened in July 2020 in Clarksburg, Maryland, and Dawes has since opened a second health club in Rockville, Maryland. The economic system, nevertheless, stays unsure, and Dawes mentioned she stays motivated as a small enterprise proprietor by all the time specializing in her why. 

“What retains me motivated and eager to develop this enterprise is the why. Why am I doing this?” Dawes mentioned. “I wish to ensure that younger children, girls and boys, have a optimistic and empowering secure area to go to to be launched to the game of gymnastics, in addition to to the game of ninja,” Dawes mentioned, referring to the ninja coaching programs impressed by the tv collection “American Ninja Warrior” which her gyms provide.

Dawes, who has spoken out prior to now concerning the abuse scandal involving USA Gymnastics and Dr. Larry Nassar — and misguided management that she mentioned was targeted on “medals and cash” — mentioned the motivation to keep up her small enterprise comes partially from her personal expertise, and she or he hopes that the optimistic environment at her gymnastics academies will assist develop children’ intrinsic self value and self-worth, separate from their efficiency within the sport. 

Seemingly, what did not kill the Dominique Dawes Gymnastics Academy did make it stronger: Dawes mentioned she is opening up a 3rd location.

“That is my means of giving again to the DMV [District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia] space that has finished a lot for me,” Dawes mentioned. 


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