The Incredible Journey of Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi

Katelyn Ohashi is an American artistic gymnast who rose to fame in 2019 after a video of her perfect 10 floor routine went viral online. Though she reached the pinnacle of her sport in college competition, Ohashi’s path has been filled with challenges, injuries, and a passion for gymnastics that has endured through it all.

katelyn ohashi floor exercise

Table of Contents

Katelyn Ohashi Facts

Full NameKatelyn Michelle Ohashi
Birth12 April 1997, Seattle, Washington
Major AchievementsSix-time All American
2011 Junior National Champion
Viral sensation on social media

Early Life and Success

Katelyn Michelle Ohashi was born on April 12, 1997 in Seattle, Washington. She started gymnastics at the age of 3, following in the footsteps of her older brother. Ohashi quickly took to the sport and joined a competitive gymnastics club at age 6.

By age 12, Ohashi had qualified for the Junior Olympics National Championships. She continued to excel, joining the USA Gymnastics National Team and winning the American Cup in 2011 and 2013. In 2013, she also won the all-around and floor exercise gold medals at the Nastia Liukin Cup.

Heading into the Olympic year of 2012, Ohashi was considered a frontrunner to make the U.S. Olympic team. She competed at the 2012 Visa Championships but was sidelined soon after with a torn labrum in her shoulder that required surgery. Unfortunately, the injury dashed her dreams of competing at the Olympics.

Battling Back from Injuries

After recovering from shoulder surgery, Ohashi continued elite competition in 2013. At the Secret U.S. Classic, she debuted a brand new floor routine that she choreographed herself. However, she continued battling injuries, including a fractured back and torn shoulders.

By 2015, it became clear that her body could not withstand the rigors of elite competition. Ohashi decided to step back from elite gymnastics and joined the UCLA Bruins gymnastics team for the 2015-2016 season.

The transition to college gymnastics allowed Ohashi to regain her joy for the sport. No longer constrained by the intense pressures of Olympic competition, she rediscovered her passion and creativity on the floor exercise.

Viral Success at UCLA

Though Ohashi competed in all four gymnastics events for UCLA, it was her floor routines that captivated audiences in 2018 and 2019. She gained wider fame when a video of her January 2019 floor routine went viral, amassing over 200 million views.

The routine exhibited Ohashi’s characteristic artistry, difficulty, and infectious enthusiasm. She moonwalked and pirouetted flawlessly to a medley of funk and pop hits. The audience clapped and danced along as she bounced across the floor with boundless energy. When she struck her final pose, the crowd erupted in thunderous applause.

The video highlighted a gymnast finally enjoying the sport she loved after years of setbacks. Fans around the world were captivated by her joy. Overnight, she became a viral sensation and inspiration.

Ohashi went on to win NCAA titles in floor exercise for both 2018 and 2019. She helped lead UCLA to the team national championship in 2018 as well. Though she competed all four events, her floor exercise routines were always the highlight of Bruins meets.

Throughout her college career, Ohashi used her platform to spread messages of self-love, anti-bullying, and positive body image. She resonated so strongly because her journey reflected the struggles that many young women face in coming to terms with their body image.

“I feel like I’m finally at that point where I can appreciate the time that I was on top of the world and really just take in the experience that I had instead of looking back on it negatively.” – Katelyn Ohashi

Life Beyond Gymnastics

After graduating from UCLA in 2019 with a degree in gender studies, Ohashi has continued to use her fame as an athlete to speak out on important social issues. She remains an outspoken advocate for empowering young girls and promotes anti-bullying.

Ohashi has become a social media influencer, yogi, and motivational speaker. She runs a blog and posts videos focused on poetry, social change, self-care, and promoting mental health. She aims to inspire others based on the lessons from her own remarkable comeback journey in gymnastics.

Though her competitive gymnastics days are over, Ohashi’s viral fame on floor exercise remains legendary. There may never be another gymnast like Katelyn Ohashi who can command the world’s attention with her incredible artistry, difficulty, and infectious joy. Her gymnastics career shows that setbacks don’t have to stop you; they can just be a chance to bounce back higher than ever before.


How tall is Katelyn Ohashi?

Katelyn Ohashi is 1.47m tall.

Why did Katelyn Ohashi retire?

Ohashi’s early career was plagued with injuries. Aged 17 she suffered two shoulder and a spinal injury which required surgery and effectively ended her professional ‘elite’ career. She later emerged as a successful College gymnast with the UCLA Bruins and retired from the sport after graduating.

What is Katelyn Ohashi’s nationality?

Katelyn Ohashi is American and has family descended from Germany and Japan.

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Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Andrew Payne

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