Katelyn Ohashi Was the Best Gymnast in the World, Until She Wasn’t | The Players’ Tribune

Katelyn Ohashi Was the Best Gymnast in the World, Until She Wasn’t | The Players’ Tribune


– [Commentator] And
this is Katelyn Ohashi, impressive to say the least. – [Ohashi] There was a time where I was on top of the world, an Olympic hopeful. – Simone Biles. – She will not be the American Cup champion. – Katelyn Ohashi wins it. – [Ohashi] I was unbeatable. Until I wasn’t. – [Coach] Good arms, tight body. – I want to do bars there. Too high? Please. This girl’s joy is just being present. She just keeps going and going like nothing’s stopping her. Living day by day and
enjoying every second of it. Flipping and flipping
and even at a young age, even when she didn’t have gymnastics, she was still in the gym. Gymnastics was her world. – Katelyn Ohashi of WOGA on floor exercise. – [Ohashi] That girl that
you would think had it all, all these medals in her room, podiums she’s standing on, she thought she had nothing. – Well here’s young Katelyn Ohashi. – Double-pike dismount here. – Pretty solid routine. – Yeah, still going to get a very good score, but she
can be actually much better. – [Ohashi] Fans would tell her
that she wasn’t good enough. She didn’t look a certain way. She wanted to eat junk food
and feel O.K. the next day and not have to worry
about getting kicked out because she couldn’t make a scale. Then constantly exercising after a meal just to feel good enough to go to bed. She was on this path of
almost invincibility. And then her back just gave out. She wanted to experience what it was like to be a kid again. – Katelyn, smile. – [Ohashi] I was broken. No one ever fully knew
what I was going through. And I never really could say or publicize what was wrong with me. 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. These are all things I heard
before I’d even got injured, things that when I was skinny I was told, so what would they think of me when I had become big. I couldn’t accept myself. Gymnastics was my worth. It was my life. I hated myself. It took me finding Miss Val and UCLA and having a different
goal and path to follow to finally find joy and
love within the sport again. – What is that? – Togetherness. – [Miss Val] This is what?
Togetherness, the bond, the fibers of the trampoline.
This is Bruin family, right? And what happens with Bruin family? We trust each other, right? It’s about trust. It’s about enthusiasm. It’s about passion for everything we do. It’s about the fact that
we’re all very unique, and we all bring different
things to this fiber, right? – I look up to my coach so much. My Mom wasn’t exactly happy when I quit elite gymnastics and
wanted to go to college. Miss Val asked her why she had
like a change in her heart, and she said, “I see how
happy my daughter is.” – [Coach] No ducky. – And that’s all it took to really … to feel like a person again. – [Supporters] Let’s go Kate. – Get it, Kate! – [Ohashi] I think gymnastics
can be a very brutal sport, but I don’t think it’s
supposed to be a brutal sport. I just hope that in 10, 20 years there will be people leaving the sport feeling untouched by it. At the end of the day I think, this should’ve been my path. I haven’t been able to feel this type of happiness in a long time. I found my joy, my voice, myself, and
my love for the sport. It’s not the outcome. It’s not me standing on
a podium with medals. It’s me being able to walk
out with a smile on my face and truly being like happy with myself, and that comes first.

100 comments

  1. Society is so judgmental with social media now days everyone gets pressured to be more not to yourself or for yourself but to everyone else and that is what destroys the soul the essence of ourselves

  2. Calling yourself "big" is like telling yourself that you are too much for the world can't handle the you that you can't help being. You can be who you wanna since the world can handle it, they just gotta learn how! You be you girl! ♡

  3. Gymnastics is my life….but I have a let down and I always feel as if I am rubbish beucase of my diseased knee

  4. Huge drastic change in her demeanor from elite to college…so sad because she was just as amazing in elite…she could have gone so far with the right coach etc BUT her journey worked out the way it was supposed to meeting Miss Val and becoming a Bruin! We love you Katelyn ! You are a true role model and inspiration for young girls!!!💙

  5. I had this. I was great at goalkeeping..until I got injuries and I wasn’t. I wasn’t able to come back after healing. I still cry about it now 🙁

  6. As much as she's shared here,
    Tons of info about her journey is still absent from the public

    And her story is only one of countless stories

    Prayfully you come out of this very fulfilled Ms Katelyn Ohashi

  7. What's wrong with being fat…?….. That hurts… You know..? If you are fat, thin, etc. There are still more things you can do and Fat America is calling this goddess of gymnastics "fat" ughhhhh

  8. This woman inspires such joy in people watching her. It’s contagious. My heart lifts and my eyes tear up every time. This isn’t small for me. I have pretty serious depression and very little can get me to smile, but I don’t even realize I’m doing it when watching Katelin. She has such a gift for connecting with her audience. I wish I could tell her this. I hope that she knows now how deep her ability to move people runs. She says she wants to bring joy to those watching. If she can elicit a response like this from me, I can only imagine how she affects other people. This beautiful bird not only flies, she’s taken thousands of others with her as they watch.

  9. Venus and Serena Williams have long been held up as icons of female athletic beauty.
    Their muscular bodies are lauded as strong and powerful, inspirational, and rightly so. Yet this beautiful young woman is fat? What??? Noooo no no. Something is very wrong here. Thank you for speaking out, Katelyn. You are absolutely beautiful, and you are an inspiration.

  10. I like how she stopped giving a shit about the meaningless and petty things that people would say about her and started to focus on what she loved and eventually learned how to love herself.

    Btw she’s fucking gorgeous 😅

  11. This is why my husband and I decided not to put our daughter into gymnastics, we've heard how they treated the kids by not letting them be kids and just have fun. Plus we've heard that men were allowed to be in the same room as the girls as they were getting undressed

  12. So happy for you. God is awesome, He brought you to a place where you found peace. You are a great athlete and a beautiful young woman. You put on a wonderful show, with your great enthusiasm. I am sure you are a mentor to alot of young girls.

  13. She’s such a beautiful young women…she actually just gets more and more beautiful, probably because she looks so happy now- accepting who she is and not throwing unnecessary limits on herself all for something she should be enjoying.
    I don’t know how much skinnier they want her to have been- she flies around like a flippin bird as it is. If she were any lighter, she could possibly fly out a window😳

  14. I saw a movie that you NEED to watch yes. you NEED to watch it its called Raise the bars.. i thought?.. i will edit it when i remember it but that movie is about UCLA and its incredible

  15. Katelyn ohashi you're one of the best gymnast in the world in spite of what everybody thinks people can clearly see that you're an overcomer you have a great support team. You are incredible person to have fantastic personality and I commend you all smiles while your resilience or your ability in that break under pressure I'm for staying up for who you are your number one to me and a lot more of the people congratulations number one UCLA number one team congratulations God bless you always and you are an inspiration to a lot of little girls all over the world in a lot of people in general sports you're so competitive you so professional broadcast we thank God for your ability how to overcome injury hey just remember Miss Katelyn ohashi you never have to answer to what people call you you only have to answer to God and he's in control and he said that you are a number 1 winner congratulations Superstar

  16. she isn’t big or fat she’s just someone who has some good, beautiful thighs. <3

    is no one gonna talk about how she competed w gabby douglas? 😳

  17. Her body is #goals … Nice curves plus #flexible… I could only wish… #Wow … Girl you look good and your body is amazing!

  18. You know, I watch this video and I am apalled by people who would fat shame her. I think her athleticism is ridiculous, off the chain, beautiful. I’m built like her and I know what it’s like to have people say mean things to girls that have muscles. I think she is awesome

  19. that’s why you should be careful of what you say online they could really affect people. give encouragement as much as possible it really helps

  20. This girl is badass…better than Biles at the time. Asian skaters and gymnasts lack bone density. Once their back fractures a little, they are done. Naomi Nari Nam, same thing.

  21. Let's be honest, the way Simone was competing by the time of Worlds that year and Kyla's steadiness, Katelyn was never undefeatable. But also, eff you Marta eff you Valerie

  22. i always tell myself when i watch these women …my god their knees their back all those hard impacts

    it surely is a tuff sport they all gonna suffer later in life from joints problem

    but they are truly amazing to watch, like superhuman

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