Before U.S Gymnastic women’s team won gold and Gabby Douglas became the first African American gymnast to win all around, Dominique Dawes was the first African American female to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics.
As a member of the “Magnificent Seven” at the 1996 Atlanta Games, Dawes became the first female African-American gymnast to win an individual medal taking bronze in the floor exercise.
In an interview with Fox Sports, Dawes said, “I am so thrilled for Gabby, her mother, her family, her sisters, her dad; I’ve been on the other side where I helped to make history, but to be on the other side and watching someone else, who looked up to me and looked up to my team, watching her make history, it just made me feel like a proud parent,”
Dawes said that Douglas already is having an influence on the next generation of aspiring gymnasts and will proudly change her tagline on her website from only African American to win gold to the first African American to win. Comparing her own Olympic experience with Douglas’s, Dawes felt just as emotional watching Douglas make her own history.