I’m glad that I came across this article; it’s inspiring and I personally relate to it a lot. Sometimes you have to fall in order to get up and come back stronger than before! I learned that and I’ve kinda been unstoppable since :). Look at your failures as lessons and find strength from them. Bravo to Dominique and all her accomplishments!! xo @RozOonTheGo
Dominique Dawes has a long list of gymnastics career wins. She is a three-time Olympian. She was a member of the “Magnificent Seven” from the 1996 Olympic Games, where the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team won their first ever Olympic team gold medal.
She won medals at the World Championships and in the U.S. Senior Nationals. At just 15-years old, she also was a member of the bronze medal-winning women’s gymnastics team that competed in the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games. She has been inducted to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, as well as the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
But the feat that Dominique considers her greatest athletic accomplishment may come as a bit of a surprise.
“Honestly, my greatest accomplishment was not winning at all. It was really failure at the sport,” she said recently at a Citi event in Washington D.C.
During the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Dominique fell during the all-around competition and put at risk American hopes of a gold medal. The U.S. would ultimately prevail and win the gold, but the memory of the fall stuck with her.
It was “definitely something I did not plan to do. When people set their dreams and goals in this world, you don’t plan to fail. When you deal with that hardship, it’s how you bounce back and respond to it,” she said.
Dominique admits it took time to stop blaming other people and other things for that fall — the floor, the lighting, the judges or the audience.
“I finally admitted that it was something within myself. I didn’t work hard enough. I didn’t focus enough. Then that’s when I grew as an individual and I think that’s when I accomplished great things in the sport, because I became a stronger athlete and more importantly a better person of character. I do believe that my failure, coming back from it, was my greatest accomplishment,” she said.