What do you get when you combine Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, and a series of impressive flips that land in a split? Well, if you’re Katelyn Ohashi, a senior on the UCLA Gymnastics team, you score a perfect 10.0 and viral internet fame.
In case you haven’t already seen the video of Ohashi at the Collegiate Challenge, it’s flawless and will give you a little pep in your step this Monday morning. Since UCLA Gymnastics tweeted the video on Saturday, it’s garnered more than 16.6 million views. On Twitter, everyone from Kamala Harris to Jemele Hill shared the video, because it's just that good.
Perhaps the best part of Ohashi's routine is the raucous reactions from her teammates and coaches on the sidelines. "Her whole floor routine is ridiculously hard," coach Valorie Kondos Field told the Daily Bruin. "Every single thing about it, including the backwards split that she does after her leap pass — it’s insane." Teammate Kyla Ross tweeted, "And she does it again! No one does floor quite like this girl! So proud of you Kate!"
Ohashi is pretty much the queen of gymnastics floor routines: Last year she was the NCAA floor exercise co-champion and was ranked No. 1 in the nation on floor exercise at the end of the season. In 2018, she scored three perfect 10s on floor, and this is her first perfect 10 of 2019.
Growing up, Ohashi was a gymnastics phenom, and an Olympic hopeful. But her dream was deferred when she suffered career-threatening injuries: stress fractures in her back and two torn shoulders. Surgeries made her think about the future, and she ultimately decided not to go the elite route, and chose to attend college instead.
At UCLA, she felt bolstered by her teammates and coaches, which changed her relationship to the sport, she told Lenny Letter. "It’s so weird being in college, because it’s like, you get to cheer for literally everyone, and you’re supposed to," she said. "But I would get yelled at simply for cheering for Simone [Biles]. It was difficult because I think I finally had freedom, legit, actual freedom, for the first time."
Ohashi's happiness is palpable in the video, and it's going to be a blast to see where she goes from here. "This should've been my path," Ohashi told The Players' Tribune in August. "I found my joy, my voice in myself, and my love for my sport."