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Sport Markazi: Ex-UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi wonders if her viral moment could have been profitable

10:30  05 november  2019
10:30  05 november  2019 Source:   latimes.com

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UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi . Ever since the paleolithic age of 2015 when humans did Facebook, there has been a “ viral UCLA routine.” Man, college gymnastics is fun. And I bet you’re wondering : If gymnastics can be this fun, why do most Olympic floor routines look like awkward

Katelyn Ohashi - 10.0 Floor (1-12-19)Credit CreditVideo by UCLA Athletics.

Katelyn Ohashi was ice skating when her life changed.

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 22: UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi speaks at the espnW Women + Sports Summit held at The Resort at Pelican Hill on October 22, 2019 in Newport Beach, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)© 2019 Meg Oliphant NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 22: UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi speaks at the espnW Women + Sports Summit held at The Resort at Pelican Hill on October 22, 2019 in Newport Beach, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

As the UCLA gymnast tried to relax at a rink last January, her phone would not stop buzzing. One notification from Twitter turned into hundreds within minutes.

A video of her floor routine the previous night in Anaheim — a perfect 10 — had gone viral; she was trending on Twitter.

"I don't have my notifications on but I was getting all these notification from verified accounts," she recalled. "I didn't know what was happening. When I got home, I refreshed my Twitter page and I had 50,000 new followers. It was crazy. I got screenshots from friends of celebrities tweeting about me and retweeting the video. That's when it kicked in."

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UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi competed for the last time in her college career in Ann Arbor this weekend at the NCAA finals. We had the honor of seeing Katelyn Ohashi perform her incredible floor routine when UCLA was at Michigan for the regionals. She was last to go, after every other

For UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi , performing wasn't always fun. You wouldn't be able to tell by We’ve all seen it by now — the viral , two-minute video of UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi 's "No one ever fully knew what I was going through, and I never really could say or publicize what was wrong

It was a surreal moment for Ohashi, who performed to Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation." She cried when Jackson tweeted the video of her routine. That video now has more than 44 million views.

Ohashi was on top of the world, but couldn't capitalize financially from her newfound fame.

"As soon as that happened my career was coming to an end," Ohashi said. "I was about to graduate and retire."

Ohashi was at the "espn W: Women + Sports Summit" in Newport Beach last week when the NCAA announced it would allow college athletes to "benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness." (Though the details about how it would actually work is still being worked on.) She had already been championing the bill signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, which will permit college athletes in the state to get paid through endorsement and sponsorship deals, autograph signings and other similar opportunities.

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UCLA gymnast Ohashi stunned the gymnastics world with an outstanding, Michael The clip, which was released on Sunday, has gone viral and (at the time of writing) is fast That 2018 performance left UCLA Coach Valorie Kondos Field openly wondering how Ohashi could possibly eclipse it.

On Saturday night, UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi front-flipped, then front-flipped with a twist, then front flipped again with another twist before bounding up Her routine helped UCLA sail to victory over Cal, UC Davis, and Michigan State. Ohashi 's routine has amassed 17.1 million views on Twitter in the

Most of the focus on the new law and the NCAA's response has been on football and men's basketball, but Ohashi said it's just as important for athletes in sports that do not have a professional league to go to after college.

"Many gymnasts peak when they're 16 and they have to make a decision between going to the Olympics and taking money or going to the Olympics and refusing to take money or just going to college," she said. "You're literally 15 years old and making this life-changing decision.

"To close someone off from the opportunity to compete in college or to get compensated for being an Olympian is wrong. Look at [swimmer] Missy Franklin, who went to the Olympics and said she wasn't going to take money because she wanted to compete in college. Her plan was to capitalize off her second Olympics, but what if she suffered a career-ending injury in college and was never able to compete again? This bill would allow her capitalize off the Olympics and compete in college. It doesn't close off opportunities."

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UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi became an internet sensation over the weekend when a video of her perfect 10 floor routine went viral . While her routine was perfect, her tumbling passes were stunningly challenging, and one of them had such a high degree of difficulty that her team “ had to

UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi did not disappoint in her final collegiate floor routine on Saturday at the national championship meet. ESPN reporter Holly Rowe may have said it best during the broadcast of Ohashi ’s performance: “She is just all joy, all woman power.”

Ohashi realized the predicament she was in shortly after her floor routine went viral and she was alone trying to sort through all the opportunities coming her way that likely would not be there for her in the future.

"If this bill was in place, I could have had representation, which would have been big," Ohashi said. "I'm in college and I'm going to school, gym, practice, competitions and I was trying to navigate around a new world blindly, which was difficult. I didn't have someone helping me out and taking care of stuff I should have taken care of and prioritizing things I should have done. I was doing it all myself and I was super exhausted.

"A lot of people were reaching out to me at the time and I didn't know what to do or even what I could do. Companies were reaching out to me and saying they want to jump on this opportunity now while I'm enjoying my 15 minutes of fame, and I had to ask them to reach back out in five months when I graduated. Those opportunities are gone by then."

While high-profile college football and basketball players go on to the NFL, NBA and WNBA, Ohashi's gymnastics career is over. She's booking speaking engagements and writing poetry, but she can't help but wonder what might have been if she was able to capitalize on her viral video in the immediate aftermath. She hopes the next athlete in her position won't have to wonder.

"Those 15 minutes of fame are for real and you want to take advantage of that because it may never come again," she said. "I wanted to put out my book of poetry when people were talking about me, but I couldn't. I had to go through this whole labor process and I wouldn't have been able to promote it or profit from it and I was able to graduate anyway so I waited, but it's frustrating.

"No one should have to turn down opportunities they've earned."

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