Influencer and gymnastics star Olivia Dunne reveals she can’t go to class in-person due to ‘safety concerns’

The college athlete has had to stop attending in-person classes

Kaleigh Werner
New York
Thursday 03 August 2023 19:43 BST
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Gymnast Olivia “Livvy” Dunne has condemned the behaviour of some male fans while revealing that she no longer attends classes in person because of “safety” concerns.

In a recent interview with Elle, the 20-year-old gymnast turned influencer opened up about the way she is treated as a female college athlete with more than 13 million followers, who makes more than seven figures.

“To see a woman winning? People sometimes have a lot to say,” she told the magazine. “If you’re a woman at the forefront of something, when you’ve got eyes on you, people are going to downplay your success and say that you’re not doing it right, that you don’t deserve all the opportunities.”

Dunn also told Elle that her large social media following has forced her to be extra careful when walking around on campus, with the gymnast revealing she no longer attends classes in person for “safety reasons”.

“There were some scares in the past, and I just want to be as careful as possible. I don’t want people to know my daily schedule and where I am,” she said.

Earlier this year, the University of Utah hosted the 2023 opening meet in which Dunne cheered for her team from the sideline due to an injury. There, “an estimated 100 to 200 [men] demanded to see Livvy,” according to Elle, which described the fans as a “mob of unruly young males”. Another gymnast was reportedly told she wasn’t Olivia but “she will do,” the magazine reported. LSU’s gymnastics team hired a bodyguard after the TikTok star was mobbed.

“It was our first meet of the season. I knew that my success had grown from the years prior, but I did not expect there to be that many people out there to see me and my team,” she remarked. “I didn’t really realise until after the meet when I saw the videos of it. I was like: ‘Holy moly.’”

When Dunne asked her fans to be more respectful on X, formerly known as Twitter, they placed the blame on her, insinuating she was “asking for it” through the way she dresses and how she acts on social media.

“It’s not a girl’s responsibility how a man looks at her or how he acts, especially when you’re doing your sport and that’s your uniform. I can’t help the way I look, and I’m going to post what I feel comfortable with,” she told Elle. “It’s hard to handle at times, definitely, because I am just a 20-year-old student. I think people do forget that.”

As Dunne enters her final season – and final year as a gymnast – she remains hopeful of beating her previous numbers for the 2024 SEC Gymnastics Competition, but more importantly she plans to enjoy every second of it.

“I know it’s coming to an end, so I’m trying to take in every single last memory I can, but I’m also excited to see what the future holds,” she said.

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