Sports Backers Blog

Olympic Gold Medalist, Health Advocate Dominique Dawes to Speak at Movement Makers Summit in Richmond

RICHMOND, VA – Dominique Dawes, Olympic gold medalist and former co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, will be a featured speaker at Movement Makers: The National Active Living Summit to be held in Richmond, on May 17-19. She will participate in a conversation with eight-time Emmy Award winner James Blue of the PBS NewsHour during the Summit.Dominique Dawes Headshot

“We are excited to bring Dominique Dawes and James Blue to Richmond for a featured conversation about active living. Dominique’s athletic history has served as a great foundation for her inspiring messages on leadership, personal drive, and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. And over the course of his career, James has won every major broadcast journalism award in the industry,” said Jeff McIntyre, Director of Active RVA for Sports Backers. “We look forward to a conversation that will inform and inspire everyone to make physical activity a part of their lives.”

Dawes, a three-time Olympian, mom and motivational speaker, is the only American gymnast to medal at three different Olympic Games in the team competition and the first African-American gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal. She paved the way for other young African-American gymnasts to strive for Olympic glory, including the past two Olympic All-Around Gold Medalists Simone Biles (2016) and Gabrielle Douglas (2012). At the 1996 Atlanta Games, Dawes was part of the famed ‘Magnificent Seven’ gold-medal winning U.S. team and became the first female African-American gymnast to win an individual medal, capturing bronze with her floor exercise performance, helping solidify her place in the United States Olympic Committee Hall of Fame.

Appointed by President Barack Obama, Dawes served as the co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition alongside NFL quarterback Drew Brees. Through this program, she worked closely with former First Lady Michelle Obama to help promote the Let’s Move! initiative, educating children on fitness and nutrition while motivating them to get moving. She’ll bring her message to Movement Makers to emphasize the importance of creating daily physical activity opportunities and engage with summit attendees on best practices for active living.

FB Cover PhotoMovement Makers: The National Active Living Summit provides individuals and organizations an opportunity to learn how to encourage and support physical activity initiatives in their communities. Movement Makers will address all sectors involved in promoting physical activity to positively impact the health of local communities. Participants will engage in strategies for creating options for physical activity in schools, workplaces, parks, neighborhoods, businesses, and more. Individual health, community health, and economic health will come together at Movement Makers to create more active communities across the nation.

The Movement Makers summit brings together experts and leaders from a variety of fields, including bike/pedestrian infrastructure, health equity, workplace wellness, public health, and obesity prevention. With nationally recognized keynote speakers, special breakout sessions, activity tours, and how-to demonstrations, Movement Makers supports active living practitioners as they learn how to make their communities more active and thus healthier.

Movement Makers takes place in the lead up to Dominion Riverrock, which takes place May 19-21. Organized by Venture Richmond and Sports Backers, Dominion Riverrock is the nation’s largest outdoor sports and music festival, bringing athletes, spectators, musicians, and even dogs to Brown’s Island for a three-day festival against the backdrop of downtown Richmond’s urban riverfront. The festival features a variety of outdoor sports including trail running, kayaking, biking, bouldering, slacklining, stand up paddleboarding, and dog jumping. Registration for the summit is available now at