LSU Gymnastics Upped Security After Chaotic First Meet of the Season With Olivia Dunne

The college athlete is also a social media influencer.
Olivia Dunne

Olivia Dunne.


When the LSU Tigers gymnastics team kicked off its 2023 season against Utah on Jan. 6, the athletic event turned into a spectacle.

Fans of social media star Olivia Dunne, who is a junior on the team, packed the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City and crowded around the arena afterward hoping to sneak a peek at the gymnast as she made her exit.

The frenzy has caused LSU to increase its security as a precaution moving forward.

“We will have security detail with us now when we go on the road and we will be working to create a perimeter around where we get on the bus, where we load,” LSU head gymnastics coach Jay Clark told ESPN.

Dunne, who did not compete at the season opener event due to an injury, issued a statement on Twitter two days later asking her fans to be more respectful while thanking them for their support. She has a massive 6.7 million loyal followers on TikTok and is the highest-ranking female athlete in NIL deals, valued at more than $2 million.

“I take our team's safety and security very seriously,” Clark stated.

The Tigers earned their highest score in a road season opener in program history, but were narrowly defeated by the Utes, 197.275 to 196.775.

LSU faced the Kentucky Wildcats on Jan. 13. Next up, the Tigers will host No. 1-ranked Oklahoma in their first home meet of the season on Jan. 16.

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Cara O’Bleness

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.