Olympic gold medalist Dominique Dawes is opening her personal gymnastics faculty in Clarksburg, Maryland. These gymnasts, nonetheless, may have an introduction to the game far totally different than the academy’s namesake.
Dawes stated she focuses on encouragement somewhat than harsh criticism.
“It’s not as if we’re instructing one thing in a different way on the subject of the standard of gymnastics,” Dawes stated. “It’s why we do it and the way we do it, and our why is (that) we care about each single child that walks by way of our doorways — and it reveals.”
Dawes desires her academy to signify a cultural shift within the sport: a transfer away from teaching that breaks athletes down with a purpose to construct them again as much as one which creates a wholesome stability of labor and play.
The gymnastics heart additionally features a Ninja Academy, with impediment programs much like these seen on the TV present “American Ninja Warrior.”
“If it means I received’t have Olympians produced on this fitness center, so be it,” Dawes stated. “I’m extra involved about your youngsters being joyful, wholesome (and) well-rounded.”
Dawes was on the prime of her sport within the Nineteen Nineties. She was a group member of USA Gymnastics, however a part of the highway was paved with ache.
“You by no means felt as if somebody was listening, that somebody was there for you,” she stated.
Although she was not one in every of Dr. Larry Nassar’s victims, Dawes stated that tradition made it doable for him to sexually abuse lots of of younger women over 20 years.
“It’s an atmosphere filled with worry, intimidation and silence, and he took benefit of it,” Dawes stated. “My atmosphere right here, there isn’t a worry, there isn’t a intimidation and your voice issues to us.”
Now together with her personal youngsters in gymnastics, Dawes is inspired to see Olympic gymnast Simone Biles converse up for gymnasts and is wanting ahead to the long run era of gymnasts to come back.
“They stroll in smiling; they miss smiling,” Dawes stated. “That’s my aim: for there to be pleasure, laughter, smiles, and for them to acknowledge that we care about every child.”