Dominique Dawes, the first African-African to earn a gold medal, got emotional talking about Gabby Douglas’s Olympic victory. In an interview with Fox Sports, Dawes discussed Douglas’ achievement and recalled her own win.
Dawes won Olympic gold in 1996, and also won a bronze medal in the individual floor competition that same year. Only three other American women — including Gabby Douglas — have won a gold medal in the event.
Prior to Douglas’ win on Thursday, a banner on Dominique Dawes’ website read “the only African American gymnast to win a gold medal.” She later changed it to “the first African American gymnast.”
“Us gymnasts are usually so composed. I am so thrilled for Gabby … I’m so thrilled to change my website and take down the fact that I was the only African American with a gold medal.”
Dawes said she was also touched that a new generation of young kids are looking up to Gabby Douglas the same way the 16-year-old once looked up to her. She said,
“That’s what’s so touching. As I was able to help Gabby, now she’s going to help a whole other generation of young girls and boys, African Americans, Hispanics, other minorities to see the sport of gymnastics as an opportunity for them to excel.”
Dawes also tweeted her enthusiasm and anxiety prior to Thursday’s competition. She tweeted,
Gabby Douglas was just a baby when Dominique Dawes took home her gold medal, but the 16-year-old has now earned her place right beside the legendary athlete.