Gymnast Going Viral For Flawless Routine Has Amazing Life Story
By Dave Basner
January 14, 2019
If you've been on social media at all today, you've probably seen gymnast Katelyn Ohashi's floor routine. The UCLA student's flawless performance is going viral not just because of how extraordinary it is, but because of how much fun Katelyn seems to be having as she does it. The video of the routine comes from the Collegiate Challenge event in Anaheim on Saturday, where the smiling 21-year-old left the audience and the judges awestruck with her unreal flips and her stunning splits.
Although her efforts were enough to easily earn her a 10, a tweet with footage of Ohashi's tumbling had the caption, "A 10 isn't enough for this floor routine by @Katelyn_Ohashi." UCLA wound up in first place at the event and tweets about it all say something similar, as one person wrote: "Not only was it perfect looking, her joy is absolutely contagious."
While it seems Katelyn is totally in her element in the video, it turns out she won't soon be going to the Olympics. In fact, Katelyn was, not surprisingly, on track to go for the gold at the Olympic Games, but in 2015 she chose to step back from gymnastics, claiming that the sport left her "broken."
Gymnastics was the Seattle-born Ohashi's life since she was a toddler. She excelled at it and went on to spend four years on USA Gymnastics' junior national team, winning the American Cup in 2013 over Simone Biles, who went on to become a four-time Olympic champion. However, people constantly telling Katelyn she wasn't good enough, and the fact that she couldn't eat junk food and feel okay and not worry about getting kicked out, took its toll. Plus, Katelyn had a fractured back and two torn shoulders, so she changed the path she was on and enrolled in college.
In a video called "I Was Broken," Katelyn describes her career and goes on to say how at UCLA, she came to many realizations. She explained, "I think gymnastics can be a very brutal sport, but I don't think it's supposed to be a brutal sport." When talking about being in school she stated, "I found my joy, my voice, myself and my love for this sport," adding, "It's not the outcome, it's not me standing on a podium with medals. It's me being able to walk out with a smile on my face and truly being happy with myself and that comes first."
This isn't Katelyn's first time as a viral hit. Last year, a video of her Michael Jackson-themed routine at the Pac-12 gymnastics championships was viewed millions of times.
Meanwhile, Ohashi doesn't see herself as perfect. She jokingly tweeted about something she needs to work on:
now i just gotta learn how to clap on the beat😂🤦🏻♀️— Katelyn Ohashi (@katelyn_ohashi) January 13, 2019
Nonetheless, everyone, including Katelyn's coach, is impressed with her. Coach Valorie Kondos Field told the Daily Bruin, "Her whole floor routine is ridiculously hard. Every single thing about it including the backward split that she does after her leap pass — it's insane."
Photo: Getty Images