There’s A Sad Reason Why The Viral Gymnast Isn’t On The USA Olympics Team

The video of Katelyn Ohashi performing her perfect 10 gymnastics routine has gone absolutely viral online.

It's not hard to see why everyone on the internet is talking about the 21-year-old UCLA athlete and her Michael Jackson routine.

As the King of Pop's anthem 'The Way You Make Me Feel' belted out, Katelyn delivered three tumbles before the crotch-crushing splits which left people empathising with the gymnast (who it didn't seem to phase whatsoever).

Another posted: "My vagina hurt just watching that! LOL," with someone adding: "So did mine, and I haven't even got one."

Others were simply appreciating the routine, one said: "I've never considered myself a fan of gymnastics but I could watch this over and over. Her passion is inspiring and completely infectious."

Katelyn seems to have attracted love from across the world with the routine, so the question begs: why the hell haven't we seen her at the Olympics, giving American golden girl Simone Biles a run for her money?

Well, there's a sad story behind the answer.

Ohashi spoke with the Lenny Letter, detailing how, at the age of three, she started gymnastics in her home of Seattle. But once gaining some traction, her family moved her to Great American Gymnastics Experience in Missouri, which is known for churning out Olympic hopefuls.

By the time she was 12, she had done well on the national circuit and upped the ante by attending the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy. This is when she started killing her international opponents (in competition I mean) and people were hyping her up as the next big thing for the USA team.

Sadly, she missed the cut for the 2012 games in Beijing because she was too young, but went on to win the America Cup the following year.

So again, why the hell isn't she representing her country now?

Katelyn revealed that the sport was simply too much for her physically, mentally and emotionally.

She told the Lenny Letter: "By 2012, I probably had like three stress reactions in my back. Two stress fractures in my fibula. My back is permanently messed up. I've had two shoulder surgeries."

Gymnastics is a professional sport where you have to start young, like really young. The intense pressure these little bodies endure over the years builds up and unfortunately for Ms Ohashi, it was too much.

She posted entries from her diary to expose what it's like being an athlete on the rise, saying: "I'm used to waking up to the taste of blood or iron in my mouth, as if I might almost throw up from being so hungry."

The 21-year-old added that the sport is 'abusive' and 'restricting'.

Katelyn says the sport has taken an enormous toll on her body and mind. Credit: Katelyn Ohashi/Instagram
Katelyn says the sport has taken an enormous toll on her body and mind. Credit: Katelyn Ohashi/Instagram

She also revealed in a video for the Players Tribune that she felt 'broken' emotionally by the sport.

"There was a time where I was on top of the world, an Olympic hopeful," Ohashi said in the video, "I was unbeatable, until I wasn't."

"I was broken. Gymnastics was my worth, it was my life. I hated myself.

"No one ever fully knew what I was going through, and I never really could say, or publicize what was wrong with me."

So she made the tough decision to opt out of the sport and moved to UCLA, where she says the coaching staff encourage athletes to enjoy themselves rather than hunt for trophies.

It might sound like a coach telling the Under-5s footy team to 'just have fun', but it's done wonders for Katelyn.

Featured Image Credit: UCLA Twitter/Katelyn Ohashi Instagram

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

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