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


Dominique Dawes is a four-time Olympic Medalist who has never been a simple business owner.

The highly decorated, world-renowned gymnast was one of three American women who competed in three different Olympic Games. She is also the first Black woman in history to win an Olympic medal for gymnastics. Her success was not without cost. Dawes said to CNBC’s Dominic Chu on Wednesday at the Small Business Playbook Event: “I had a challenging childhood and sacrificed my childhood in order to win an Olympic Gold Medal.” “It was a 24/7 grind of work and work. If you didn’t do well at the gymnastics gym you felt less than yourself.” When Dawes decided she wanted to be an entrepreneur and started Dominique Dawes Gymnastics Academy in 2010, her timing couldn’t have been better. She signed a 10-year contract just before the Covid-19 epidemic began.

We had planned to open in April 2020 but were a bit late. … “

Dominique Dawes of the USA stretches on the balance beam during her routine at Georgia Dome in 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images

The first location opened in July 2020 in Clarksburg, Maryland, and Dawes has since opened a second gym in Rockville, Maryland. Dawes, a small-business owner, said that she remains motivated by focusing on the why. “What keeps me motivated is my why. Why am I doing it? Dawes said. Dawes has previously spoken out about the abuse scandal that involved USA Gymnastics, Dr. Larry Nassar, and the misguided leadership she believes was focused on

. She said that her motivation to keep her business is partly based on her own experiences. What didn’t kill Dominique Dawes Gymnastics Academy, however, made it stronger. Dawes is now looking to open a third location. Dawes explained that this is her way of paying back the DMV area

, which has been so good to her.