In early 2019, UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi went viral for her incredible floor routine that scored a perfect 10. Ohashi’s energy was infectious and the soundtrack to the routine — which included Earth, Wind and Fire, Michael Jackson, and the Jackson 5 — had fans on their feet.
On Wednesday, July 10, we were reminded of Ohashi’s viral moment when she was awarded the ESPY for “Best Play” at the awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
While accepting her award, Ohashi gave a powerful speech that was just as epic as her routine. During her speech, Ohashi mentioned rappers Cardi B and Nicki Minaj, while also calling out body shamers and explaining what it was like to have a moment go viral.
“I started seeing myself in the news trying to infuse a little bit of joy in my sport after all the abuse and misuse of people in higher power,” Ohashi said. “It’s no wonder why our voices went silent as theirs would just tower. But today, mine no longer cowers.
“Thankful for the internet that made this all happen, but along with that, it’s important to understand cyber attacks, the respect that people unfortunately lack. As a female in sport, people comment things like, ‘You should be in the kitchen,’ I sadly report. The skimpy leos made it easy for everyone to see, and everyone took it as a duty to judge me. Too revealing. Too fat. She’s so thick. The objectification of our bodies is making me sick, pitting women in sports against each other acting as if they can’t co-exist. It’s like saying Chedda Da Connect can’t go with flick of da wrist, or what about Nicki Minaj or Cardi B? Two thriving females rappers everyone should see.”
— ESPN (@espn) July 11, 2019
Take a bow, Katelyn.
We have a feeling another viral moment is coming your way.
About Katelyn Ohashi
Katelyn Ohashi, born on April 12, 1997, is a two-time All-American and previous four-time member of USA Gymnastics’ Junior National Team who attends the University of California-Los Angeles, where she is a member of the gymnastics team. In 2018, Ohashi was the National Collegiate Athletic Association floor exercise co-champion. That same year, Ohashi scored 3 perfect scores on floor exercises and finished the regular 2018 season ranked No. 1 in the country.
Prior to attending UCLA, Ohashi was the junior national champion in 2011 and won the American Cup in 2013.