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.
Eight months ago, Katelyn Ohashi was simply a student gymnast at UCLA – and now, she’s a viral sensation working alongside the likes of Peyton Manning and Serena Williams.
“My phone was blowing up,” Ohashi told AOL Sports of the day her high-energy floor routine went viral back in January. “I don’t even have my [Twitter] notifications on like that, so I didn’t understand what was happening.”
Within days, the college athlete and her parents were flown out to New York to appear on Good Morning America, and Ohashi’s ascension to internet royalty was complete. Since then, she’s gone viral again, stolen the show at the 2019 ESPYs with a moving speech on female stereotypes and has paired up with Gatorade to use her newfound platform for a good cause.
UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, who first made headlines in January after scoring a perfect 10 on a now-viral performance, has completed her collegiate career.
The 22-year-old gymnast ‘s floor routine at the 2019 Collegiate Challenge went viral with more than 43 million views on Twitter. After some slight changes to the choreography, including the removal of Michael Jackson’s music and accompanying dance moves, Ohashi performed the infectious routine for the final time on Saturday at the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics National Championship.
Footage of the routine, which was shared by espnW, has been viewed nearly 3 million times as of Monday morning. Ohashi earned a 9.950 for the performance.