The ultimate goal for any gymnast is to nail a perfect score. The once-unattainable goal has become the gold standard for the beauty, balance and unparalleled athleticism it takes to catch the perfect 10, but former UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi completely reset that standard.
During the Collegiate Challenge against California, Michigan State and UC Davis last year in Anaheim, the defending NCAA Floor Exercise Champion broke the Internet when her routine landed a perfect score of 10.0 and absolutely stole the hearts of everyone across the country on social media.
With her energy, focus and awe-inspiring tumbling passes inside Anaheim Arena, the ten-time All-American and two-time Pac-12 Specialist of the Year crushed another routine to record the sixth perfect 10 of her incredible collegiate career.
Oh, and this was only the second time she’d ever performed this floor routine in competition, too.
UCLA Gymnast’s Perfect 10
The Seattle native sure wasn’t new to the gymnastics spotlight, but boy did her viral routine raise her stock across the country in a hurry. The video was viewed more than 750,000 times on YouTube in just the first two days, plus it was retweeted more than 116,000 times and had over 24 million more views on the UCLA gymnastics Twitter account.
One year later, the Seattle native’s stunning routine featuring some killer choreography and dance moves has over 130 MILLION VIEWS on YouTube.
During the Pac-12 Championships the year before, Ohashi stepped onto the floor with the chance to win the conference’s team title. Ohashi’s routine scored a 9.950 to earn first place and deliver the UCLA Bruins another NCAA college gymnastics team championship.
This video of Ohashi’s Michael Jackson-inspired routine has been viewed more than 18 million times.
UCLA Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi
How did 4-foot-10 megastar and four-year USA National Team member top that? By giving us another perfect score in 2019 and getting everybody out of their seats for a dance of their own.
“Her whole floor routine is ridiculously hard,” UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field told the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student newspaper. “Every single thing about it including the backward split that she does after her leap pass — it’s insane.”
Ohashi’s college heroics came after a back injury in training, however, that forced her to leave Olympic training and nearly ended her gymnastics career before it even started.
“No one ever fully knew what I was going through and I never really could say or publicize what was wrong with me,” Ohashi said in a video titled “I Was Broken” that was produced by The Players’ Tribune. “I was happy to be injured. I was told that it was embarrassing how big I had become. I was compared to a bird that couldn’t fly.”
Katelyn Ohashi: I Was Broken
Ohashi graduated from UCLA in 2019. She retired from the sport as a six-time All-American, four-time USA Gymnastics’ Junior National team member, and American Cup winner.
Thanks to the incredible difficulty and unmatched energy that the former Olympic hopeful brought once again, we not only have the best floor routine maybe we’ve ever seen, and arguably, the single-most incredible athletic feat you’ll see in a long time.
This article was originally published January 14, 2019, but was updated to reflect what Ohashi is during now.