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Gwendolyn Antonia ‘ Fashie’ Dahl (born 28 March 1984) is a Paradisian gymnast, prima ballerina, and teen idol. Edit
She is noted for competing, as a member of the first British Paradise Islands' international competition roster, in the XVI Commonwealth Games and for being named to compete in the XXVII Olympic Games.She is perhaps equally well-known for her steady romantic association with Lord Jonathan Christopher Cavaliere III, junior baron of Eden Island in the British Paradise Islands (BPI) and son of and heir to the fortunes and titles of Sir Jonathan Cavaliere, Lord Paradise, and Jeanne Cavaliere, Lady Paradise, as well as being a scholastic-team competitor and close friend of Kimberley Cavaliere.
Basic information Edit
- Full name: Gwendolyn Antonia Dahl
- Nickname: ‘Fashie’
- Nationality: Paradisian citizen
- Birthdate: 28 March 1984 (age 15)
- Birthplace: Hurricane Hole, Eden I.
- Parents: John Dahl; Ruth Dahl
- Residence: St Alice, Eden Island
- Height: 155 cm [5 ft 1 in]
- Weight: 46.5 kg [102.5 lb]
- Ethnicity: Norwegian, English, Dutch, Austrian
- Religion: Anglican
- Occupation: athlete, ballerina
- Sport: artistic gymnastics
- School: Hurricane Hole High School, 1995-1999; Paradise Intersport Academy, 1999-2000.
Early life and education Edit
Gwendolyn Dahl was born into a comfortable middle-class family of St Alice, on the southern tip of Eden Island in the BPI. She has two elder brothers. Her father, John Alan Dahl, is a commodities trader with the Royal Bank of Paradise. Her mother, Phillipa 'Ruth' (née Baylor), is an accountant with a local business.
From an early age Dahl has studied tumbling, ballet, piano and singing. She attended Hurricane Hole High School (HHHS) in Hurricane Hole,considered the most affluent district on Eden Island, from 1995 to 1999. Her best subjects have been literature, writing, art and Japanese.
For the 1999-2000 term, she has been boarding and finishing fifth-form studies at the Paradise Intersport Academy on Hope Island, coincidental with her gymnastics training. She is scheduled to sit for her O-level exams (comparable to the GCSE in England) in May 2000.
Dahl’s IQ has been estimated by BPI educators as being in the 155-160 range. She is noted for precise diction and grammar as well as for using contractions only rarely in formal or recorded statements.
As a gymnast Edit
Scholastic competition Edit
Dahl has said that, to fulfil the BPI requirement that students take at least one competitive-sport class for PE, she chose gymnastics because it appeared related to ballet, which she had taken since early childhood, and because she is petite (only 155 cm [5 ft 1 in], at age 15). After early-elementary tumbling classes she took gymnastics for two years before joining the HHHS team, one of the top three scholastic gymnastics programmes in the territory, in 1995.
From the beginning her ballet training has lent her a pixyish grace that enhances her floor exercises and balance-beam routines.
Gwendolyn Dahl has demonstrated exceptional proficiency on all four women’s gymnastics disciplines. She has said she enjoys balance beam most; many female gymnasts tend to despise it. In her first secondary-school competition, at age 11, she impressed the coaches and judges with her natural ability on the beam and became the youngest member (and only first-former) of the school’s primary competition roster. Short, slender and limber, she is known for a fluid, free-flowing style and has been said to flit and float like a faery in flight.
Her nickname on the Hurricane Hole team was ‘the Flying Faery’.
Dahl won the British Paradise Islands Earl’s Cup all-round championship in 1997 and 1998, setting both personal and territorial high-score records each time.
Gymnastics training Edit
In early 1997, Dahl was approached by the British Paradise Islands Olympic Committee about joining the new team, then in training, in preparation for the 1998 Commonwealth Games. At first she declined, citing her schoolwork, ballet and piano lessons, and relationship with Cavaliere as reasons. But she received too much encouragement from her boyfriend, as well as from his sister Kimberley, who, whilst an opponent in the territorial interscholastic gymnastics competition, has become a close friend. Joining Kimberley Cavaliere and several teammate friends, Dahl accepted the challenge and began attending advanced training sessions the week after she finished the 1996-1997 scholastic season.
The intensive training became like an after-school job for her and the other gymnasts; once school recessed for the high season (June-August in the BPI) the sessions, held at the Paradise Commonwealth Sports Centre on Hope Island, have gone all day, every day. Weekdays, Dahl stays with Kimberley’s family at Camelot, the Cavaliere family’s palace home, because it means a much shorter daily commute.
In June 1998, at the age of 14, Dahl qualified for the BPIOC’s five-member primary team by scoring 5th in the BPI territorial all-around qualifying event. No-one younger scored higher. Her balance beam and uneven-bars routines were her highest marks.
1998 Commonwealth Games Edit
The 1998 gymnastics squad was the BPIOC’s first team to attend a major international competition. At the XVI Commonwealth Games at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a primary team of seven girls, none yet 17, turned in a 7th-place team finish, surprising the field. The youngest member of the first-string squad, Gwendolyn Dahl performed a near-flawless routine on beam, her favourite, for which she placed 4th, and achieved the team’s highest consistent average in all apparatus. In floor she showed her ballet training (which all BPIOC gymnasts have received) in performing to Puccini’s ‘Figaro’, placing 7th. Her two vaults were typically excellent; but the field was notably competitive and her 8th-place finish was very respectable. On uneven bars, she stuck the double laid-out back-somersault dismount perfectly in the team finals (substantially supporting the excellent team standing), whilst taking a step in the apparatus finals, for which she placed 7th, and in her all-around finals, for which she placed 8th.
The strong showing from a very young gymnast heretofore unknown in major international competition has brought Dahl much admiration and respect. According to the BPIOC’s head coach Stephen Coe, she is a frontrunner for the Paradise Islands’ first Olympic team, to attend the XXVII Olympic Games at Sydney, Australia, in 2000.
As a ballerina Edit
Distinctly rare amongst competitive gymnasts, Gwendolyn Dahl is perhaps equally capable as a ballet dancer, having taken lessons since age 5 and having studied pointe since September 1996. Since beginning secondary school she has appeared in eight NEHS recitals, as Coffee in an annual territorial teens’ presentation of The Nutcracker, as Hermia in Midsummer Night's Dream, and as the tragic lead in a Royal Paradise Ballet Company production of Match Girl. As her ballet training lends her gymnastics ability grace and form, so her gymnastics lends her dancing nimbleness and strength. Even as an 11-year-old she was landing very high arabesques and performing walkovers on stage; and she is noted for exceptional form, stamina and discipline.
Gwendolyn Dahl has been named as a likely addition to the Royal Paradise Ballet Company for the 1999-2000 season. She has mentioned conflicts with her gymnastics career and as yet has not chosen either pursuit over the other.
Social commentary Edit
Interviewed briefly on Paradise TV One’s afternoon chat programme Teatime in January 1998, Dahl professed a conservative, commonsense orientation to most social issues, rather typical of teenaged girls in the territory. Her most insightful comments were about the nature of her relationship with Cavaliere, which she does not describe in detail but considers serious and destined for a long duration. Though brief, the televised segment made her an instant and well-recognised celebrity in the Paradise Islands. Dahl only reluctantly accepts that she has so much influence over young people, a reticence to accept attention that comes from native modesty.
Pan-Pacific Youth Summit Edit
In February 1998 Gwendolyn Dahl attended the Pan-Pacific Youth Summit at Kyoto, Japan, as a junior delegate from the BPI, intending only to accompany Cavaliere, but was invited to give an address to teenaged girls. At first she offered to present her address in Japanese, in which she has passing fluency, but was encouraged by local teens to do so in her native English. Speaking before 3,000 delegates and international television, she exhibited remarkable poise and self-control for one not yet 14. Her small but steady voice held the room rapt. In her speech, Dahl included the following remarks:
... Personally I believe that what makes me virtuous comes from being female, Christian and British. That is just me, of course. But these elements are what make me what I am; and each of these elements of my identity requires me to uphold a certain set of standards that will be seen by other people….
Now you may have some different foundation for your virtue. But you do have your own virtue, and you do have to uphold a set of standards to be true to yourself. And this virtue is what we must show of ourselves to the world; because as girls, as young women, as ladies, we have this obligation to the world. We cannot just live alone amongst others. We each have a role to play, an example to set, an obligation, a responsibility; and in being this kind of role player in the world we will each find our own purpose, our own self, and so our own self-confidence.
And no matter what role we must play, the one thing we all have in common is our responsibility to ourselves and to each other to be the very best we can be. Let us never forget that– and let us always remember that, as girls, we can rely on each other, even if we don’t know each other personally, to be there for each other, to care for each other, to admire and respect each other. We are all examples for each other. And so, we won’t disappoint each other. Because at the end of the day what really matters is that we did the right thing for unselfish reasons. And the greatest reason for all of what we do is love.She concluded her remarks with the Christlike admonition: ‘Love each other– I love you all’, receiving thunderous applause.
Nickname of ‘Fashie’ Edit
Gwendolyn Dahl’s nickname of ‘Fashie’ came about because, according to Cavaliere, ‘When I first met her, she just seemed as pretty as a little doll, and her last name was “Dahl”. I asked her if anyone had ever called her that [‘Fashion Dahl’]; and she just looked at me like I had gone troppo. But she rather liked it; and the name stuck from that moment.’
Kimberley Cavaliere was one of the first to overhear her brother calling his girlfriend ‘Fashie’. Once others in their local society learned of it, it caught on fast; by as early as December 1996 Dahl was essentially a one-name icon in the BPI– not unlike her close friend ‘Kimby’.
Recognised at the youth summit at Kyoto, Dahl was greeted with cheers of ‘Fashie!’ (more like ‘Faaaa-shieeeee!’) from the gathered crowds.
As a fashion icon Edit
Within the BPI and beyond, Gwendolyn Dahl has come to represent, somewhat infamously, what has become known as the ‘anime look’, a style inspired by the close-fitting tops and implausibly short skirts of anime and manga schoolgirl characters. ‘It’s exactly the right look for her,’ says Sandra Jennings of Dorrie Paradise, a BPI print publication and television series aimed at tourists and foreign interests. ‘Short, slender and slight– her pixyish proportions are perfectly flattered by the “anime look”.’
Some in the BPI have begun referring to the short-skirt-and-snug-top ‘anime look’ as the ‘Fashie look’. The style has sometimes been called ‘the bell’ because of the shape of a young, slender girl in a close-fitting top and short flared skirt.
For the 1998-1999 school terms, the BPI Territorial Ministry of Education imposed rather strict guidelines about the minimum lengths of schoolgirls’ skirts, a policy enacted in response to the nearly-instant popularity of the anime look. Officials in the ministry have informally referred to the new guidelines for secondary-school students as ‘the Fashie rules’; and students throughout the territory have jokingly blamed Dahl for the unwanted effects her trendsetting has had on their fashion decisions.
Probably Gwendolyn Dahl would be only just another girl in a short skirt living in Paradise if not for her high-profile boyfriend, whom some have said may be the most eligible teenager in the whole of the British Commonwealth. Having been photographed in public with Cavaliere since before she was 13, Dahl has become a popular subject for attention and emulation; and her appearances in everything from ball gowns to swimsuits have been closely monitored by admirers from the BPI to Britain and beyond.
Dahl has said that such public attention severely curtails her preference for going topless when sunbathing, swimming, sailing and surfing, a common practice in the BPI.
Personal life Edit
Dahl has been dating Cavaliere since the two met by chance on a BPI beach in July 1996. They had not previously known each other. She has stated that he is the first and only boy she has ever loved.
In August 1997 the two suffered their first separation when Cavaliere entered Cambridge University, a rift that was mended the very afternoon he returned to the BPI on Christmas break. Though different in age by nearly four years, the two have been as devoted to each other since as they ever were before, in spite of some extended periods when education or training have intervened.
Dahl is an admittedly frenetic composer of notes, poems, stories, and letters. She is well-read in history and in literature. Her aspiration is to become a novelist, social writer or literature teacher.
Religion and interests Edit
Dahl enjoys sailing, swimming, and surfing. Her current board is a 180-cm Surf Atlantic Mistrale swallowtail, airbrushed with a blue and pink design, given to her by Cavaliere. According to others at her regular break, at Dorset in Eden Island, she possesses an uncommon confidence and prodigious ability since first surfing in August 1996. She is known for taking waves beyond the comfort level of most female surfers, petite surfers and those of her experience level, with surprising success.
Gwendolyn Dahl is a confirmed Anglican Christian holding a moderately conservative Biblical worldview. She is a communicant at St Andrew’s Church, St Alice, where she was confirmed at Michaelmas, 1996, and has attended Eucharist services at the family chapel on the Cavaliere estate of Camelot as well.
One of Dahl’s other interests is the role-playing mock-warfare game Strategy, in which players assume military or other roles and develop schemes to defeat each other according to predetermined rules of engagement. The game is very popular amongst young people in the BPI, where competition tournaments are common and medals and accolades awarded. Dahl typically plays on Jonathan Cavaliere’s Silver Knights or with Kimberley Cavaliere’s typically all-girls Group Lavender.
Dahl also enjoys travel, often spends Christmas holidays with the Cavaliere family in Connecticut and has travelled with them to England for visits with her boyfriend as well.
She appears as a backup singer on Kimberley Cavaliere's first album, Call Me Kimby, released in 1999.
See also Edit
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