UCLA Gymnast Who Scored Perfect 10 Officially Finishes Her College Career with Upbeat Routine
Katelyn Ohashi, a gender studies major, will graduate from UCLA in June
Katelyn Ohashi ended her gymnastics career on a high note on Saturday.
The 22-year-old University of California Los Angeles senior — who made waves on the internet in January when footage of her perfect 10-scoring floor routine went viral — performed her final collegiate floor routine at the 2019 NCAA women’s gymnastics championships in Fort Worth, Texas, over the weekend.
Like the routine that made her famous, Ohashi scored high with the updated version — earning 9.950 for her team, the Bruins, USA Today reported.
All in all, UCLA finished third with a score of 197.5375, USA Today reported, with LSU coming in second place (197.8250) and Oklahoma winning the NCAA title (198.3375) for the fourth time.
Ohashi, a gender studies major, will graduate from UCLA in June.
In January, she told PEOPLE that she didn’t expect the viral fame that came her way after her impressive floor routine, which was soundtracked by upbeat music like Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary,” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September.”
“I would have never guessed I have like senators reposting me,” she said, referencing the likes of now-presidential candidate Kamala Harris. “It’s just crazy and honoring.”
It was especially shocking since nearly six years ago, Ohashi underwent double shoulder surgery, leaving her competitive future in the sport in jeopardy. Though she was a rising star at that time — even beating Simone Biles at the 2013 American Cup — Ohashi realized that the level of intensity required for elite gymnastics was not making her happy.
“When I got back home, although it was so exciting that I had won, I couldn’t even smile about it,” she recalled, explaining that her victory was vastly overshadowed by her pain. “I got home and I was just in tears. And my mom realized something was wrong.”
“It was like losing myself basically, because it was like, that was the only thing I knew how to do,” she added. “So after time went by, and I was getting x-ray after x-ray and MRI after MRI, it was kind of like my body couldn’t uphold the training that I was forced to do.”
Now, the talented athlete is preparing to face down another challenge: life after college.
Her dream? A turn on Dancing with the Stars — but beyond that, she’s hoping to pursue “a lot of projects that have to do with writing and photography.”
And her coach knows she’s bound for greatness.
Said Valorie Kondos Field, the celebrated longtime coach of the women’s gymnastics team at UCLA: “What I’m so proud of is, it’s not just about Katelyn Ohashi, this talented joyful athlete, but I think what comes through is she has such depth as a person outside of the gym. Her intention and attention goes to really serious social issues like body-shaming issues, abuse issues and homelessness. And that is what I am most proud of with her: she is not a two-dimensional athlete — she’s a three-dimensional human.”