Dominique Dawes Parents: Father Don And Mother Loretta

This article was last updated by on

Dominique Dawes parents, Don, and Loretta Dawes, do not have a strong bond with their daughter. Dawes is the middle child of the former couple.

The three-time Olympian Dominique Dawes’ parents were so out of touch with her life that some didn’t even know what they looked like. We have heard many stories of athletes being emotionally abused by their parents while growing up.

Dominique Dawes Pictured Representing US On International Stage
Dominique Dawes Pictured Representing US On International Stage (Source: Instagram)

Dominique also has a similar story. But her story is geared toward her longtime coach, Kelli Hill. At a young age, Dawes’ parents allowed her to live with the coach, who Dominique says was harsh on her. 

Only after becoming a mother did Dominique realize what she went through was wrong. Recently, she was inducted into the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame. 

Dominique Dawes Parents: Father Don And Mother Loretta

Dominique Dawes parents, Don, and Loretta Dawes, have been separated for 30 years. The couple parted ways when Dominique was 17 and had competed once in the Olympics. 

An interview from 1991 mentions that Loretta used to do bookkeeping for her husband’s refuse business. During the conversation with The Baltimore Sun, Loretta said Dominque’s childhood was different from other kids. 

She said her daughter was missing out on many fun parts of growing up, but Dominique had only one goal in her mind- becoming Olympic Champion. It was Loretta who pushed her daughter towards gymnastics. 

Dominique Dawes Pictured With Her Daughter Kateri At The Sports Emmys In NYC
Dominique Dawes Pictured With Her Daughter Kateri At The Sports Emmys In NYC (Source: Instagram)

Dominique was only six when Loretta enrolled her in a gymnastics school. The mother-daughter duo came to know about Dominique’s future coach, Kelli Hill, while they were having lunch at McDonalds.

Dominique’s father, Don Dawes, previously talked about his daughter’s hard-working attitude during his conversation with The Washington Post.

He said he learned his daughter wasn’t a quitter when after her injury she decided to go to practice. She told him she wanted to go to practice and didn’t want to be late.

Dominique shared a different side of her story in an appearance on Lesley Visser’s podcast last year. The former gymnast said her parents left her completely in the hands of Kelli Hil and weren’t present much in her life.

With Dominique away for practice all the time, it made her parents’ home life easier, as they turned a blind eye to the emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of her coach. 

The conversation is quite telling of the kind of relationship Dominique now shares with her parents, which is probably non-existent. 

Dominique Dawes And Her Fall Out With Kelli Hill

Dominique Dawes and Kelli Hill had a strong bond for several years before Dawes came out with a story saying Hill had emotionally abused her all those years.

The three-time Olympian spent much of her childhood with Kelli as her parents became further from her life. As she lived with her coach, Dominique felt helpless most of the time. 

Dominique said she would be kept after practice numerous times to stay and get an assignment done. She would see her friends leave and go home to their parents, whereas she was stuck in a controlled environment. 

Dominique Dawes Pictured With Her Husband And Her Kids In 2019
Dominique Dawes Pictured With Her Husband And Her Kids In 2019 (Source: Instagram)

The former athlete said she felt a great deal of anxiety as a young child and a great deal of fear. Her identity was wrapped up in being “this athlete” or “this Olympian.”

Some websites state that Dominique and Kelli had a talking relationship until 2016, and nothing seemed off between them. A few gymnastic fan forums even accuse Dominique of trying to sell a sad story to gain fame. 

Dawes has previously stated it was after having her children she recalled some things that happened to her that weren’t right. 

Sriyukta Pradhananga
Sriyukta Pradhananga

Sriyukta Pradhananga

Sriyukta Pradhananga is a versatile writer with a keen interest in exploring the multifaceted dimensions of sports. Her articles offer readers a dynamic blend of insightful analysis, engaging storytelling, and thought-provoking commentary that sheds light on the diverse experiences within the athletic realm.


Sports Technology Global Sports


  • Sriyukta keeps abreast of the latest advancements in sports technology.
  • She examines issues related to sports ethics, fair play, and integrity.


With a background in journalism and a passion for sports, Sriyukta approaches each article with a blend of curiosity, rigor, and creativity. She strives to illuminate the complexities and nuances of the sports world, sparking meaningful conversations and inspiring readers to engage more deeply with the athletic endeavors that unite us all.

Related articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share article

Latest News