Watch: LSU Gymnast Olivia Dunne Talks Making Her Younger Self Proud

The social media influencer and athlete started gymnastics at the age of 3.
Olivia Dunne

Olivia Dunne.

She may be a star gymnast for the LSU Tigers these days, but Olivia Dunne got her start in her sport when she was just 3-years-old.

“I really wanted a pink sparkly leotard and my mom said I can’t have one unless I do gymnastics,” Dunne said in a recent TikTok video. “So she signed me up.”

The 20-year-old athlete included clips of her present day self as well as adorable video snippets and photos of herself as a little girl as she mused about what her younger self would think of her achievements today.

“My 3-year-old self would just be happy I could do a backflip,” Dunne quipped. “I hope she would be proud of everything I’ve accomplished.”

Currently a junior at LSU, Dunne is the highest-paid female athlete in college sports. She’s also an online influencer, with a dedicated fanbase of 7.3 million followers on TikTok and another 3.7 million fans on Instagram.

“That’s why I do gymnastics today—to make the little girl that I once was proud,” Dunne stated.

Plenty of the Division I athlete’s fans were quick to offer support in the comments.

“I’m very sure 3 yr old u would be very proud of what you’ve accomplished,” one person wrote.

“The best since day one, you already know 😌,” someone else added.

“Out of all the women we push to be famous, I’m glad we made you that person,” another individual said. “A good inspiration/influence to girls on this [platform]. Thank you ❤️.”

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.