This gymnast's breathtaking routine to a medley of Michael Jackson songs went viral
It's been nearly a decade since Michael Jackson died, but his music lives on forever. If the King Of Pop were still alive today, would he be dominating the Billboard charts? Or would he be "cancelled" by Twitter due to those child sexual abuse allegations? I don't know, but I'm pretty sure he would love this performance by college gymnast Katelyn Ohashi.
On Saturday night, the 21-year-old UCLA senior performed an breathtaking floor exercise routine set to a medley of Michael Jackson's greatest songs. She dances, front-flips, twists, power drops and does the splits, with each move perfectly synchronized to smash hits like The Way You Make Me Feel. Her flawless routine earned a perfect 10, the fourth of her career, helping UCLA soar to victory at the 2009 Collegiate Challenge.
On Twitter, UCLA Gymnastics shared a video of Ohashi's stunning performance, commenting "A 🔟 isn't enough for this floor routine." The clip received more than 25 million views in two days, as the internet couldn't stop watching her mesmerizing moves. And this isn't the first time she broke the internet. Last March, she performed a different routine to to an MJ mash-up, which got more than four million views on YouTube.
Ohashi was a four-time member of USA Gymnastics' Junior National Team. In 2011, she became the junior national champion, and in 2013, she won the American cup, defeating the now-dominant Simone Biles. After suffering back and shoulder injuries, she joined the UCLA team, where she is the reigning NCAA floor exercise champion.
In an emotional clip from The Player's Tribune, Ohashi opened up about her struggle to overcome setbacks and cope with body image issues.
"There was a time when I was top of the world, an Olympic hopeful. I was unbeatable, until I wasn't," said Ohashi. "That girl who would think had it all, all these medals in her room or the podium that she's standing on? She thought she had nothing. Fans would tell her that she wasn't good enough, she didn't look a certain way... That meant constantly exercising after a meal just to feel good enough to go to bed. And then her back just gave out."
"I was broken. No one fully knew what I was going through," she continued. "I was happy to be injured. I was told that it was embarrassing how big I'd become. I was compared to a bird that couldn't fly... I couldn't accept myself. Gymnastics was my worth. It was my life. I hated myself. It took me finding [coach Valorie Kondos Field] and UCLA and having a different goal and path to follow to finally find and love within the sport again."
Now Katelyn Ohashi is a viral sensation, and one of the NCAA's top performers. I hope during one floor routine she does Michael Jackson's "impossible" dance move, the anti-gravity lean. Shamone!