Ten-year US Olympic Women Gymnastics team member and Olympic Gold-medalist Dominique Dawes opened up about her career and life to Catholic TV network EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo this week.
The mom-to-be, who is a newly converted Catholic and is weeks from delivering her first child, said she considers herself a mommy right now and is learning to change her previously perfectionist ways.
“I’m learning to ‘Let go and Let God”,’ the 1996 US Olympic Women’s Floor Exercise Bronze champion said on the show World Over. “I’m learning to not focus on being a perfectionist and I’m learning to just relax and not set these unrealistic expectations… It’s been a struggle for me.”
She added, “you do really need to put pride and your ego aside at times and learn to accept sometimes that ‘good’ is sometimes ‘good enough.'”
Dawes revealed that although she seemed calm and poised while performing on the world stage, she was battling self-doubt and was a pessimist, but knew how to “fake it til you make it.” Her teammates, fans and family kept her going though inside she was quite a “nervous Ninny,” she said.”It was calming myself, getting at peace, affirmations,” she said of what helped propel her to success when visualization techniques didn’t work.
“I created a motto for myself as a young child. I called it D3: Determination, Dedication, Desire, so I would repeat these affirmations and even scriptures like Phillipians 4:13, ‘through all things God who strengthens me'” Dawes said. “Whenever those moments of doubt or negative thoughts would come in, I would push it out with these words.”
Dawes, who was the first African American woman to win an individual Olympics gymnastics medal, added that pregnancy is scary but it’s something she has always desired. Before admitting that she felt she was “called” to be a gymnast, she said she’s open to her new role as a mom.
“Right now, my child is very much in control and I’ve always known that God is in control so it’s just me learning to let go and to embrace this experience and embrace the fact that I have a new and different body,” she said, adding that she is learning to “embrace the emotional roller coast” she has gone through as a pregnant woman and embrace what is going to happen when she becomes a new mom.”
Dawes, who shared on the show that she is an introvert, revealed back on December 10 on her Instagram account that she is expecting a baby girl.
“I wanted to introduce my baby girl to a place I will always cherish. Olympic Park
…17 yrs after making history,” she captioned this Instagarm photo
during a trip to Atlanta’s Centennial Park
last December. ” Fond memories!”
Since spilling the beans about being pregnant in a big way this past December, Dawes has been more open about her personal life.
|Dawes married The Heights School’s religion teacher and adviser Jeff Thompson last Spring.
Dawes and a Potomac, Maryland religion teacher Jeff Thompson married 9 days after Dawes joined the Catholic church last year 2013 during the Easter Vigil. Dawes was born Baptist but joined the faith of her late paternal grandmother who was a Piscataway tribe member, she told Arroyo.
And though that wasn’t public news, the petite mom-to-be mentioned him last week while watching The Gabby Douglas Story
last week for the first time EVER, tweeting:
And during the EWTN interview she revealed that she changed her stance about not wanting her child to become a gymnast after visiting a venue and seeing teenie tiny leotards and telling her husband who she said is 6 foot 3 that she couldn’t wait to put their daughter in that.
Though she is open to the fact that having a tall husband may make it so they won’t have a “gymnastics-shaped” child. Funny!
Despite all the buzz about terrorist threats with the current Olympic Winter Games in Russia, Dawes said if she were an athlete she would go to the Olympics game in Sochi. Dawes competed at the Atlanta games which was marred by a bombing on July 26, 1996 which claimed a life and injured over a hundred people, but still.
Given how long you’ve trained, since a child, most athletes wouldn’t walk away from a competition over threats, she said.