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UCLA Gymnasts Finds Her Joy Again

A viral video of the amazing gymnast Katelyn Ohashi took the web by storm (in January 2019). The video shows an energetic female gymnast does an impressive floor routine. She springs across the floor and dances to the music but what is most beautiful about her routine is her joy. She is absolutely glowing. She clearly loves what she is doing and it shows. Her floor routine earns a perfect 10. But as NPR covered the story they discovered Katelyn Ohashi hasn’t always felt joyful about gymnastics.

In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, her UCLA coach, Valorie Kondos Field—or "Coach Val," as she is known—remembers asking Ohashi in 2013 when she last loved gymnastics.

She had just won the American Cup, so she was the greatest gymnast in the world, and she said, “I lost my love for the sport when I was 11.” “She was miserable," Kondos Field says. Ohashi won the competition shortly before her 16th birthday.

With Coach Val's help at UCLA, Ohashi clearly has rekindled her love for gymnastics.

"I realized that I had to earn her trust, that I cared about her more as a human being than as an athlete—and I cared about her in spite of her gymnastics," Kondos Field says. And it shows in that video.


Heidi Glenn and Danny Hajek, “UCLA Coach Helps Star Gymnast Find Her Way Back To A Sport She Loves,” NPR (1-16-19)

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