Katelyn Ohashi became a celebrity overnight when her perfect-10 gymnastics floor routine was posted by the official UCLA Twitter account in January and almost immediately went viral.
Fans were taken by her upbeat personality and high-energy performance. The rest of the sporting world took notice too. At the 2019 ESPY Awards in July, the recent UCLA grad won both Best Play of the Year and Viral Sports Moment of the Year.
Ohashi used her time on stage after winning Best Play to deliver a poetic speechabout body image and gender stereotypes.
“It was a really amazing opportunity,” she told AOL Sports on behalf of Gatorade. “You can feel the vibe of the room, of all these driven, like-minded people.”
Ohashi was nervous, naturally, to speak in front of the most famous athletes in the world, as well as a massive television audience, upon winning her awards, but she pushed through and delivered her message with poise.
There was one person in attendance, however, that left the 22-year-old “starstruck.” It wasn’t Serena Williams, any member of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team or Rob Gronkowski – rather, it was high school football coach Rob Mendez, the recipient of this year’s Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.