MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — As the eyes of the world are turned to the Olympics in Tokyo, Montgomery County is taking the time to honor one of its own hometown heroes.
On Friday, Montgomery County Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz announced that world-renowned sculptor, Brian Hanlon, would be sculpting a piece in honor of Olympic gymnastic legend, Dominique Dawes.
“This does not just recognize her, but symbolizes all that’s possible, all that’s good all that’s great with sports and our community,” said Albornoz.
Dawes, a native of Silver Spring, competed in the 1996 Olympic games where she won an individual gold medal. She has since opened her own gymnastics academy and she says this she is humbled and honored by this gesture.
“I want to thank you all for this honor, but I want to thank you most that it’s not about me at all, it’s truly about leaving a lasting legacy for future generations,” Dawes said in a press conference on Friday.
Hanlon, who has created over 500 public monuments says he is grateful for an opportunity to bring history to life.
“It’s important for us to create historical markers. That’s how I like to look at these historical works of art. Maybe we’re no doing a statue of a person but we’re celebrating the pursuit of human excellence and the human spirit and Dominque you are that and more,” Hanlon said.
When it is completed, the sculpture will be located at the future Silver Spring Recreation and Aquatic Center, which will also house the Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame. Officials are hopeful that this statue will inspire the next generation of athletes.
“It’s not hard to imagine one of those athletes, like the six competing in Tokyo right now, walking past her into the building, reading about the other athletes who have competed in the Olympics and decided to undertake that journey for themselves,” Matt Berzok from Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame said.