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Olympic Gold Medalist Gymnasts Featured At TNCC Black History Month Celebration

HAMPTON, Va., Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympic gold medalist and motivational speaker Dominique Dawes will bring her message "ENVISION: Reaching your Full Potential" to Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) as a part of a series of events celebrating Black History Month. 

Free and open to the public, Dawes' presentation will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium in Templin Hall at TNCC's Hampton campus. ENVISION is an acronym for the eight principles that helped Dawes become successful in and out of the athletic arena and is also the title of her motivational line of products. 

"I am excited to be a part of the Thomas Nelson Community College's celebration of Black History Month," said Dawes.  "The theme 'Empowerment through Fitness' is a message that is important to me and one that mirrors one of my philosophies." 

The speaking engagement will be preceded by an "Empowerment through Fitness" reception featuring Dawes and Gabrielle "Gabby" Douglas, Olympic gold medalist at the 2012 London Games.  Scheduled for 5-6:30 p.m. at Espada in Moore Hall, tickets are available for the reception for $25 at www.showtix4u.com or by going to TNCC's Templin Hall on the Hampton Campus on Feb. 15 from 5-8 p.m.

Three-time Olympian Dawes is the first African American gymnast to win a gold medal and only American gymnast to win team medals in three different Olympic Games.  The University of Maryland graduate has served as a co-host for Yahoo! News' Weekend Edition and an Olympic correspondent for FOX Sports.  She is currently co-chair of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

Douglas, a native of Virginia Beach, is the first African American to win a gold medal in the Olympic Individual All-Around in Women's Artistic Gymnastics. She also won a team gold medal, establishing herself as the first American gymnast to win both the all-around individual and team gold in the same Olympic games. 

During the 7 p.m. event, Gabrielle Douglas' mother, Natalie Hawkins, will introduce Dawes and speak about the historical connection shared by the two gymnasts.  Douglas will deliver closing remarks touching on a number of subjects, including her Olympic journey and feelings about seeing her gymnastics idol again for the first time since the London Games.

"It's such an honor to be counted among so many amazing African-American athletes who paved the way for my generation," said Douglas.  "I am so grateful for the opportunity to have my accomplishments recognized by Thomas Nelson Community College, and I look forward to celebrating Black History Month with my hometown community." 

The program will also include two local gymnasts who train at the Hampton, Va. facility, Gymnastics Inc. The high school senior and middle school student will reenact Dawes' floor routine and Douglas' balance beam routine featuring some of the Olympians' signature moves.  

Jonathan Lester, an expert personal trainer and manager of Thomas Nelson Community College wellness centers in Hampton and Williamsburg, will serve as emcee for the event.

SOURCE Thomas Nelson Community College

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