Entertainment: UCLA's Viral Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi Really Just Wants to Dance ... With the Stars - PressFrom - US

EntertainmentUCLA's Viral Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi Really Just Wants to Dance ... With the Stars

20:05  28 january  2019
20:05  28 january  2019 Source:   hollywoodreporter.com

UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi stunned judges and broke the internet with a flawless, Jackson 5-inspired floor routine that earned a perfect 10

UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi stunned judges and broke the internet with a flawless, Jackson 5-inspired floor routine that earned a perfect 10 Saturday's showing marks the sixth time in Katelyn Ohashi's collegiate career that she's earned perfect marks, but this one was special.

Katelyn Ohashi , a UCLA senior gymnast , became a viral sensation after a video of her perfect-10 floor exercise performance began circulating on She had the breathtaking difficulty as Ohashi kept stuffing the tumbling passes with extra flips. She had the intricate dance , courtesy of teammates Nia

For UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi , performing wasn't always fun. You wouldn't be able to tell by watching her most recent viral floor routine. "Also, having my team to support me throughout that, which is a privilege. I felt like I was dancing with them on the floor and having as much fun as possible.

UCLA's Viral Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi Really Just Wants to Dance ... With the Stars

Her perfect 10 at a Jan. 12 meet in Anaheim has made UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi super famous super fast, with a viral video of her floor routine getting 50 million views in a week. She's been interviewed by Ryan Seacrest and showered with praise on social media (even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave her a shout-out). But what the 21-year-old gender studies major most wants is to appear on Dancing With the Stars.

"That's one of my biggest goals!" she tells THR. "When [gymnast] Simone Biles was on it, she invited me. I just fell in love." But if DWTS doesn't work out, Ohashi has a plan B. She recently tweeted to Steve Harvey, "My brothers and I want to be on Family Feud."

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Katelyn Michelle Ohashi (born April 12, 1997) is an American artistic gymnast who competes for the University of California , Los Angeles .

University of California ( UCLA ) gymnast Katelyn Ohashi has gone viral as her new floor routine landed her a perfect 10 at the Collegiate Challenge in Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi delivers crotch-crushing routine for perfect 10. Katelyn Ohashi was all smiles but her routine was painful to watch as

Ohashi's talent and life story seems like a perfect fit for DWTS, but she's got a long list of aspirations outside of reality television. The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Ohashi to discuss her viral routine, her love of poetry, how she got past bullying and verbal abuse to find inner peace, and what personal motto means the most to her today.

(via People)

What has your life been like since the big meet?

It’s been hectic. I literally have been, like, staying off of social media completely because it’s been so crazy. Most of the notifications I’m getting are from my friends taking screenshots and being like, “Oh my gosh, this person mentioned you or messaged you,” and stuff like that. That’s been insane. It’s been a little overwhelming, but I think everything is so exciting and I’m so grateful for all of it. Sometimes you have to take a step back and just breathe a little bit.

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UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi . Northridge earthquake anniversary. Ohashi came to UCLA after a decorated career with the U. S . junior national team during which he became one of the top gymnasts in the world. “That pure joy that comes from doing gymnastics and being really good at it.”

UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi . Screengrab/Youtube. This year, UCLA is obviously keen for a repeat, and all early signs pointed to the joyful, strutting, floor-thrusting rollick of freshman Margzetta Frazier, set to legendary voguing anthem “Din Da Da.”

There are brands and people who spend their careers trying to make something go viral, and you’ve done it not once but twice. At what point did you know that what happened on Saturday was something special?

When I saw all these check marks in my notifications. I was like, “Whoa!” There were messages from senators and — oh! So, one of my friends, she’s actually in the office, and she messaged me and was like, “You made it to a completely political website.” I was like, that’s strange. She was like, “Not many other things happen on that website and here you are with this big article.” I thought that was really interesting and cool.

What’s the website?

It is … let me find it. It’s called The Daily Beast.

That’s great. When you make it on websites like The Daily Beast, are you reading the stories?

I think I read a little bit of that one. I haven’t even read The Huffington Post, I haven’t read that or anything else. I haven’t really had time to be on my phone period because I’ve just been running around.

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619.5k Followers, 983 Following, 594 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from katelyn ohashi (@ katelyn _ ohashi ).

When you mention gymnastics , most people envision a graceful Olympic athlete performing a ballet-like routine. But Carter Evans introduces us to one college

Let’s talk about the athletic skill. First of all, it looks like you’re having such a blast on the mat with this routine and then you double down on some of the hardest tumbling passes. Is there a particular part of this routine that you find the most challenging?

Yeah, the split double lay is something that, one, I think it got taken out of the code of points I don’t know how long ago, so we had to resubmit that, so I’m the only one in college doing that right now. I didn’t do it the first meet because they were concerned that I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. It’s not necessarily even when I compete because there’s so much extra adrenaline, but when I warm up, we don’t want to take the short landing. That one is definitely the most challenging of them all. My middle pass is impressive as well. I got inspired by my freshman year. I totally forgot I used to do that pass for a couple of meets. I was watching it with one of my friends and we looked at each other at the same time and were like, “I have to do that pass.” So, we brought it back for this year, and it’s been so much fun.

One of the things that I loved so much about watching you perform is not only seeing your skill, what you were able to pull off and your smile while doing it, but to see the joy it brings to your teammates to watch you do so well. They exploded for you. What can you say about them?

Before her perfect 10, UCLA gymnast had to regain joy

Before her perfect 10, UCLA gymnast had to regain joy Katelyn Ohashi's smile filled her face as she danced across the blue floor; her bob cut bounced with each movement in her now-famous floor routine. UCLA's gymnasts gravitated toward their 21-year-old senior captain, moving closer as the music blared. They began cheering and dancing behind her. Eyes were glued to her from all directions. Ohashi playfully stuck out her tongue, moving into position for a line of gravity-defying flips. After she jogged across the mat, the music suddenly cut, bringing the routine to a halt. It was a month ago, during practice, and coach Valorie Kondos Field was studying Ohashi's movements.

© Instagram / katelyn _ ohashi . UCLA gymnast Ohashi stunned the gymnastics world with an outstanding, Michael Jackson-inspired routine It lasted just a minute and a half, but by the time it was over it was apparent to anyone watching that Katelyn Ohashi had just achieved something special.

Ryan Seacrest connected viral UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi with Dancing With the Stars producer and casting guru Deena Katz after Katelyn Katelyn revealed to Ryan on-air that while she doesn’t have plans to compete in the Olympics (she’ s suffered too many injuries and already a lifetime

They’re amazing. Having them, like, we always do it out of love for the sport. When we go out there, it’s not just for ourselves, it’s for something bigger that is in the gym and outside the gym. We don’t just represent ourselves, we represent UCLA Gymnastics. What I’ve found is that we’re not just teammates, we’re soul sisters, best friends. Literally you have everyone you can depend on on one team. It’s really awesome to see that, one, like, there has been a lot of attention drawn to them and that’s so amazing because they are a big part of everything. They are just as incredible.

UCLA's Viral Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi Really Just Wants to Dance ... With the Stars© ASSOCIATED PRESS Katelyn Ohashi during an NCAA college gymnastics match, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ben Liebenberg) Let’s talk about the music. How do you pick what goes in the final mix?

Oh, man. Trial and error. (Laughs.) We had six people at a table together and we just kind of went through all the options and throwing out ideas. Each one, we’re like, "Ehh," or, "That’s it!" We try to pair the songs together, and if that doesn’t work then we try other things. It took, literally, like multiple tries to get to where we are today with this routine and music. It’s been quite a process.

Where do you get your music inspiration from?

Last year, the inspiration for Michael Jackson came from my mom, who is a very big fan. That was that. This year, was like, OK, how do we one-up that with meaning behind it. So all of the music was very intentional and picked because it’s music that brings joy to people. We have people who stand for stuff, and so that’s basically all that went into it.

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Beyond her perfect 10 performance, UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi is spreading an important message about self-acceptance and body positivity. If you haven’t yet seen gymnast Katelyn Ohashi ’ s floor routine, please immediately halt what you are doing and click here to watch.

Viral star and UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi is capable of perfection. Beset by injuries and the pressures that come with the sport (her poem about body shaming was on “Good Morning America”), Ohashi made the brave but challenging decision to step away from the Olympic track.

When you say "stand for stuff," what artists are you referring to specifically?

Tina Turner. She’s such a big women empowerment body, so I think it was important that we had her in it, and every other beat is so much fun in there.

Let’s go back to Twitter. You’ve had some pretty major compliments and attention from everyone like Kamala Harris and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Rev. Jesse Jackson and Jemele Hill. Have you heard from anyone privately?

I saw a couple things on Instagram that were really cool. I haven’t checked too far in my DMs so I don’t know anything. My email — I’m horrible about checking so it’s even worse there. No, I haven’t seen anything. I’ve gotten a lot of [messages] from a lot of different backgrounds of people asking for, like, “Hey, can you send me a picture?” And that’s all they will send. Sorry, that sounded inappropriate. They’re asking for autographed pictures. (Laughs.)

Your social media followings are increasing by the day. At one point when I checked you had something like 88K followers and the next day, it was up to 125K and growing by the minute. How closely are you keeping track? [Her Twitter following is now at 146,000.]

Oh my gosh, it’s really crazy. Um, yeah, it’s funny almost. Before all this happened, I was at 24,000 so it’s gone up by over 100,000 which is just absurd. Obviously, the following is such a huge part of my generation, we’re so involved and stuff. But I can’t let it get to me or anything. I can only be grateful for all of it because it opens the door for opportunities.

That’s exactly what I was thinking — it opens the door for opportunities for you to increase your platform, which I know is really important to you. You’re not just an athlete who had a lucky routine. You have dedicated most of your life to this sport and weathered some tough physical challenges. I watched your Players Tribune clip and it was emotional to hear, in your own words, how you struggled to find your place in the sport while being bullied and verbally attacked over your weight. But to see the smile on your face now and the dominance that you showed Saturday is so uplifting. What was the turning point for you?

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UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi turned to the crowd with a huge smile. Not only was she about to receive a perfect 10 for a spectacular floor exercise High school gymnasts on Long Island, especially the top floor specialists, watched the video again and again. They share her love for the sport and

Katelyn Ohashi Michael Jackson routine. I’ve gotten to see her perform since she was a teenager, winning national At age three, Ohashi started practicing gymnastics in her hometown of Seattle. "My doctor was like, ‘Carly, you really need to stop if you want to be able to walk when you get older

UCLA and [gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field] had a lot to do with that. Being encouraged to grow in other areas of my life, and that’s when I got to realize how passionate I was about things that I’ve experienced or just have a heart for. That has allowed me to find my joy within the sport, as weird as it sounds, because it all connects and it alleviates this pressure of only being an athlete and having to live up to the standards because that’s what I’m validated for. So, not having to be validated for being a “perfect gymnast” or “athlete.” Being able to have other things to fall back on and put energy into has just really allowed me to step into who I am today and enjoy the sport for what it is.

You talk a lot about joy. What brings you joy outside of the gym and outside of gymnastics?

I started getting into photography, and I shot this vision that I had for one of my poems and seeing that vision come to life literally was one of the most amazing feelings I’ve ever had. Obviously being a gymnast and doing it for 18 years and hours a day, I haven’t had much time to do a lot of other stuff so experiencing that was, I can’t explain the feeling. It's way better than going viral. It was just amazing.

Have you posted that?

Yeah, I posted a couple shots on my Instagram recently. It’s the mirrors shattering and it has to do with body image.

What’s the title of the poem?

It’s called “Your Daughter.” I haven’t posted the poem yet anywhere. But, yeah, it has to do with body image and what you would tell your daughter if you witnessed her hating herself.

Where will you post it?

That will be part of my later project that I’m not allowed to say.

Let’s talk Dancing With the Stars. I heard a rumor that you’d really love to compete. Is that true?

Oh my gosh! Yes! That is one of my biggest goals. (Laughs.)

Why so? Why that show?

It’s so funny. I am not a religious watcher of much, but when Simone was on it, she invited me out a couple times so I got to see her perform. I don’t know, I just really fell in love. I know it’s tedious and hard work too, but I love performing so much that I think it would be a great opportunity to, kind of, step out of gymnastics and still be able to perform. The facial expressions that everyone uses. Dancing is so expressive, and you can really tell the difference between each dancer. It’s really cool.

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Over the weekend the Internet crowned a new viral star : UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi . Then there' s her energy, her smile, and her dance moves to a stellar medley of songs that included "Proud What really puts the entire video over the top is when you realize that Ohashi ' s entire team is doing

So cool. You mentioned Simone and there are many gymnasts who’ve competed there — Shawn Johnson, Laurie Hernandez, Aly Raisman, Nastia Liukin and Simone. Who was your favorite to watch?

I’m the closest with Simone and that’s the only time I got to see it live and in person. That’s why it’s so special and why she definitely stands out to me. Watching Laurie Hernandez’s videos — oh my gosh! Her facial expressions were spot-on. That made me even more inspired. That was crazy.

Speaking of Simone, you’re the last woman to beat her in a major competition. What’s your relationship like now?

We are still really, really close and I consider her one of my best friends. We talk on the phone whenever we get the chance. Hopefully I’ll get to see her this summer and I want to go visit her if I can.

You’ve got a lot to look forward to then. You’re graduating this semester. What’s your major?

Gender studies.

Any idea what you want to do when you graduate or next steps in your career?

I have a lot of long-term goals in terms of what I want to do. In terms of how I get there, I’m not entirely sure. I feel like there are so many opportunities that are coming my way so I don’t necessarily want to settle on anything right away. I just know that I want to help people and I want to empower those around me. I would love, obviously, to do Dancing With the Stars. I want to put out a few books throughout my lifetime. And there’s more! I want to go out to New York and intern with The Players Tribune to see if that’s something I want to pursue because of the mix of journalism and creative aspects of it all. I have a lot of things.

I love that UCLA has also taken this opportunity to encourage people to come and see a gymnastics meet live. What advice would you have for someone who has never come to a meet or seen you compete?

To come to one! (Laughs.) Watching something on the TV or internet is not nearly as incredibly as it is when you see it in person. UCLA does an amazing job of making the whole entire meet engaging and fun to be at. In person is the best option if you like it that much on the internet. You’re only seeing one routine and our entire squad; the floor lineup is ridiculous this year. Not even just floor, all of our other events are just as good.

Do you feel pressure to repeat what you’ve done?

You know what? No. I’m going to take it meet by meet and second by second. As athletes you always know that mistakes happen and not everyone is perfect and you can’t be perfect. So, remembering that I’m human will alleviate any pressure that I have after all of this stuff.

You tweeted “Life is beautiful and fragile. Cherish every moment of it.” What other mottos or quotes in your life that you’re trying to live by?

There’s another one that means a lot to me and that is Miss Val’s favorite quote that she lives by, which is, “Be anxious for nothing and grateful for all things.” She means so much to me, and she heard that when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. There are so many things that we have to be grateful for, it gets so easy to get caught up with one thing that, you know, isn’t perfect or not going the way you thought it would but we always need to be grateful for what we have.

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