That Time I Learned The Balance Beam With Dominique Dawes

That Time I Learned The Balance Beam With Dominique Dawes

Photo: Courtesy of Tide
Photo: Courtesy of Tide

 

I’m a bit of a narcissist when it comes to the Olympics. I’ve always been.

If there’s not a brown girl involved in the sport, I’m less likely to watch. Growing up, the international sporting competition was about five women: Serena, Venus, Jackie, Lisa and Dominique. On Tuesday, an epic dream came true.

Olympic gold-winning gymnast, Dominique Dawes partnered with Tide in support of their Small But Powerful campaign. As an Olympic sponsor, the 70-year-old brand was promoting their palm-sized pods that drop right into you laundry load and do magic (read: clean your clothes really well).

“Whenever I work with companies, especially being a married mother of two, I’m only gonna work with ones that I truly believe in,” Dawes told StyleBlazer about aligning with the detergent brand. “I’m not just gonna do things for a paycheck or visibility to be just out there. I believe in Tide products and they’ve gone through a 70-year evolution. So, having an opportunity as a former Olympian from 16 years ago —being able to partner with an Olympic sponsor— is truly a dream come true.”

As a fun and interactive way to learn about the new product, meet Dominique, and celebrate the USA Women’s Olympic team, we hit the gym for an afternoon of gymnastics.

 

Photo: Courtesy of Tide
Photo: Courtesy of Tide

 

First we stretched, which led to a demonstration on how to do a split. I failed. Then we practiced hand-stands and divided into groups of five. We transitioned to the trampoline where we practiced our flips and landing. And finally, we hit the high beam.

Invigorating, yes. Exhausting, for sure.

But the whole point was to emphasize that power isn’t predicated on size. And that at 4’8″ gymnast Simone Biles is just as talented as any other athlete, twice her size.

 

Photo: Author and Dominique Dawes
Photo: Author and Dominique Dawes

 

“It’s important to help young girls recognize that they have strengths and that they are able to accomplish anything and everything they truly believe in,” said Dawes. “I think feminism has changed in a way where now it’s about competing against someone else. And I don’t think we should do that. I think we should recognize —as a person of faith— that us women have certain beautiful assets and strengths and men have some beautiful assets and strengths. I truly believe that God has made us different for a reason. Where our strengths are is where we will excel over men. And the same for men. It’s about embracing your strength as a woman, where we can make a greater impact.”

Adding, “The small but powerful message is very fitting, talking about the evolution of powerful gymnast from Nadia Comăneci in 1976 to myself in 1996 to Olympic medalist Simone Biles —who we can say is a gold-medalist.”

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