Who is Olivia Dunne, a college gymnast who causes hysteria every time she steps out?

Olivia Dunne, a varsity gymnast who has been stalked on social media almost as much as four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles, has forced LSU’s college to review its security system during events she participates in. On the other side of the Atlantic, the immense popularity of a young woman who became a millionaire despite her level of gymnastics prevented her from participating in the national team is as fascinating as it is frustrating.

His presence in the university competition is enough to make the incident completely outrageous. On January 6, the 20-year-old American gymnast Olivia Dunne, who became very popular on social networks, was announced in the list of participants of the NCAA match between her team LSU Tigers and Utah Utes – the American university championship. The young woman, who has 6.8 million subscribers on TikTok and three million on Instagram, has many fans in the stands. The problem: they don’t have a favorite gymnast.

Olivia Dunne did not compete with a shoulder injury. The vast majority of her fans are very young men. After the event, as everyone gathered at the exit of the stadium, she didn’t hesitate to yell at the other gymnasts whose only fault was not being Olivia Dunne.

The police had to intervene to calm the crowd and escort the young woman away

“It’s very scary and disturbing … I feel ashamed for them,” said former gymnast Samantha Peszek, a silver medalist in the team event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. was forced to call for calm. “I would appreciate your support and I always do, but if you come to the meet, I want to ask that you respect the other gymnasts and the gymnastics community because we’re just doing our job,” she said. Women on Twitter.

While the police had to intervene to calm the crowd and escort Olivia Dunne away during this famous university rally, the huge popularity of the athlete forced LSU, a Louisiana-based university, to react. A guard will accompany the team until the end of the season. “A security guard will be at our hotel and outside our locker room and will take us to the venue bus,” said team coach Jay Clark. It highlights a number of safety issues on the gymnastics team. They will be more protected. to change. We simply cannot harm them.”

The income is close to two million dollars

It must be said that the situation surrounding Olivia Dunne has nothing in common. Despite the excellent level of gymnastics that allowed him to develop at the highest university level, the athlete is far from being among the best in the country in his discipline. However, her ease in front of the camera and her body, which many would consider advantageous, crush men her age and allow her to reach the heights of popularity on social media. With 9.8 million subscribers on TikTok and Instagram, she is almost surpassed by four-time Olympic champion and superstar Simone Biles, with 10.3 million total fans on various social networks (6.6 million on Instagram, 310,000 on TikTok, Twitter 1.7 million, 1.7 million) are watching. on Facebook).

While top-level student-athletes are entitled to cash in on their image for about a year and a half, Olivia Dunne is the highest-paid college athlete in the entire country, according to several American media outlets. In front, therefore, the largest takes basketball players, hockey players or American football players, nevertheless huge stars. According to several estimates from the press across the Atlantic, he has already earned two million dollars (1.85 million euros) thanks to collaborations with brands.

A “backward step” for the place of women in sports?

In the US, however, several voices are being raised to criticize how Olivia Dunne gained her popularity. “Sometimes we take maybe two steps forward and then one step back,” said American basketball legend, Hall of Fame inductee and staunch advocate for women’s rights. having the resources, the facilities, the coaches and everything associated with Olympic-level athletics. This is a step backwards.”

“Seven figures. That’s something I’m proud of,” the major stakeholder said in an interview with the New York Times. Especially since I’m a woman in varsity sports. After college, there are no professional leagues for most women’s sports.” Often there is a flip side to such success.

Felix Gabori RMC Sport journalist

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