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In January, UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi earned a perfect 10 at a collegiate competition for her floor routine, which quickly went viral. On Wednesday, Ohashi received another major plaudit at the 2019 ESPY Awards, with the routine earning her “best play.”
Accepting her honor, Ohashi gave a rousing speech, and judging by the initial response it will likely go viral, too. “I started seeing myself in the news trying to infuse a little bit of joy in my sport after all the abuse and misuse of people in higher power,” Ohashi said, acknowledging the gymnastics sexual abuse scandal that unfolded and involved USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. “It’s no wonder why our voices went silent as theirs would just tower. But today, mine no longer cowers.”
Ohashi continued to seamlessly mix in rhymes while onstage, eventually touching on the negative side of going viral on social media.
“[I’m] thankful for the internet that made this all happen, but along with that it’s important to understand cyber attacks; the respect people unfortunately lack,” she said.
Ohashi explained that following her online fame, she has been on the receiving end of comments like “You should be in the kitchen” and that she’s “too fat.”
“Everyone took it as their duty to judge me … the objectification of our bodies is making me sick,” she said.
Luckily, the main response to Ohashi’s stirring speech skewed positive.
Check out a few responses, along with the speech, below.
— ESPN (@espn) July 11, 2019
That was the dopest acceptance speech in the history of awards shows! I’m pretty sure Katelyn Ohashi just recited her own poem. Can’t confirm but the ends of sentences seemed to rhyme. Even if it wasn’t, it was still a hell of a speech
— Jim O’Shea (@JimOShea4) July 11, 2019
Everyone needs to hear what Katelyn Ohashi just said. #ESPYS
— katyshorkey (@katylanders) July 11, 2019
Yesss!! Katelyn Ohashi! Representing for all female athletes out there! What an acceptance speech! #ESPYS
— Jeremy (@DylanNYC85) July 11, 2019
— MitchNeal (@MitchNeal) July 11, 2019
Katelyn Ohashi wins speech of the night!!! #ESPYS
— Melissa Danielle (@melissaaax13) July 11, 2019
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