Dominique Dawes
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Dominique Dawes remembers being in Prince music video

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It’s October 1996, and Magnificent Seven gymnast Dominique Dawes‘ Orlando hotel room phone rings.

She picks up and listens to a deep, raspy voice on the other end.

“Someone that claimed to be Prince,” Dawes remembers.

She thinks it’s a prank. Dawes hangs up.

Soon after, Dawes receives another call. It’s her agent.

“That actually was Prince,” Dawes’ agent says, “so you might want to chat with him.”

Prince was calling to ask Dawes to perform in one of his music videos. They eventually spoke.

“He did say he’s a big fan, impressed with my gymnastics, something along those lines,” Dawes, now a mother of two, said in a phone interview Thursday.

Dawes, then three months separated from winning Olympic team gold at the Atlanta Games, jumped at the opportunity. She had heard days before the call that Prince was interested in having her in a video.

So when news broke Thursday that Prince died at age 57, Dawes immediately thought of that phone call in 1996.

“It was a surreal experience for a 19-year-old,” she said.

Dawes’ fondest memory was meeting Prince at Paisley Park in November 1996, one month after that phone call, to start shooting the video for “Betcha by Golly Wow!”

A gracious host, Prince asked Dawes if she wanted something to drink. Remember, this is Minnesota in November.

“The first thing that came to mind was hot chocolate,” Dawes said. “He took me to his kitchen, and he literally was mixing me up Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate. You’re thinking, doesn’t he have people to do that? I’m sure he did, but he was just mixing it up.

“I can’t say just how talented and how kind he was. He was like any other person, just down to earth.”

For the video, Dawes said she was instructed by Prince to “freestyle” as a dancer.

“And if you know any gymnast, we don’t freestyle very well,” Dawes said. “We’re very robotic. We have to be coached. So, he got me a choreographer. He found it comical that I didn’t know how to freestyle.”

The shoot lasted two or three days, but it wouldn’t be the last time Dawes and Prince saw each other.

She then started working on Broadway and living in New York City, where she was invited to private Prince concerts in the late 1990s.

Then last year, Dawes and her husband saw Prince perform around Washington, D.C., with about 200 others. Her husband found a way backstage, but Prince had just left.

“I would have loved to have seen him to say thank you for the opportunity in ’96,” Dawes said, “and thank you for the years allowing us to enjoy your gift.”

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Olympic Prince performs with mariachi band in Mexico

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Mexican Alpine skier Hubertus von Hohenlohe has vowed to celebrate the culture of the nation of his birth by wearing a mariachi-themed race suit during the Sochi Olympics.

But now – as he is known to do – he has taken things one step further.

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While in Mexico to receive the flag he will carry as the country’s lone athlete during the Opening Ceremony next week, Hohenlohe performed with an authentic mariachi band and had them write song titles and lyrics on the race helmet he will wear during the men’s slalom competition on Feb. 22.

“It was a great time,” Hohenlohe said. “I sang ‘El Rey,’ ESPN Desportes was there, the Olympic Committee had a crew there, but they came and left too early otherwise we would have had the coolest time ever.”

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The 55-year-old prince of German descent will be the second-oldest Winter Olympian in history, and will be representing Mexico for the sixth time. His first Games were in Sarajevo in 1984.

Here are photos from the evening on the plaza, courtesy of Hohenlohe:





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Mexican Alpine skier going for ‘Mariachi Olympic Prince’ look in Sochi

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At age 55, Hubertus von Hohenlohe knows he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning a medal in the men’s slalom at the Sochi Olympics.

And he’s cool with that.

The title he is most interested in claiming is best-dressed at the Games.

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With that in mind, the Mexican skier, who is also a prince of German descent and an accomplished photographer, is pulling out all of the stops for his sixth, and likely final, trip to the Olympics.

He revealed exclusively to NBC Olympics, that he will wear a mariachi-themed race suit when he skis down the Rosa Khutor. The suit, designed by Kappa, features the trimmings of a black bolero jacket, ruffled tuxedo shirt, red tie and cummerbund, and designs down the legs surrounding the initials “MEX.”

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Below is what the race suit will look like. For more images, click through this slideshow.


Hohenlohe’s penchant for flamboyant uniform designs is well-known. In Vancouver, he wore a “Mexicano desperado” racesuit, complete with bullet straps and pistoleros in the design, and another suit environmentally-themed race suit encouraging people to recycle.

But this time, he said that it was important for him to portray an image of elegance while also celebrating an element of Mexican culture while on the slope.

“Until I went to Mexico recently to make a documentary, I never realized what a beautiful, amazing, rich past and culture they have and what a proud people they are,” he said. “It actually moved me to see how much they suffered and how much they fought for what they have. The power to have your own identity is so strong and something I believe in so I want to give it a go in a very cool, elegant way. I want  to celebrate who they are, but of course in my own style.”

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Hohenlohe joked that in Sochi we can call him “the Mariachi Olympic Prince,” and added that having one of the three best suits at the Games, “is a medal I need so urgently.”

“What are my chances?” he asked.

One might have to consider him the gold medal favorite.

U.S. Olympic Alpine Skiing Team announced