Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi shares message to body-shamers in rousing speech

Her speech was simply inspiring.
Katelyn Ohashi, 2019 ESPYs
UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi accepts the "best play" award onstage during The 2019 ESPYs on July 10 in Los Angeles.Kevin Winter / Getty Images

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/ Source: TODAY
By Chrissy Callahan

We already know Katelyn Ohashi is a wiz at gymnastics, but as it turns out, she's also pretty darn wise.

At last night's ESPY Awards, the UCLA gymnast was honored with "best play" for the routine that earned her a perfect 10 at a collegiate competition in January. While accepting her award, the 22-year-old also took some time to share an inspiring message about body image and body shaming.

After her routine went viral, Ohashi used this newfound attention to spread a message of happiness and positivity.

The routine that made Ohashi go viral also earned her an ESPY award.Kyusung Gong/Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

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"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," she said, giving a nod to the sexual abuse scandal that has plagued the gymnastics world.

The gymnast recognized that her routine could never have gone viral without the help of the internet, but also took the opportunity to highlight the negative side of 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.

While most people were praising Ohashi for her routine, there were many online haters saying hurtful comments like, “You should be in the kitchen” or “She’s so thick.”

The gymnast got flexible on last night's red carpet.Jordan Strauss / AP

Naturally, the talented gymnast began to feel very frustrated.

"Everyone took it as their duty to judge me ... the objectification of our bodies is making me sick," she said.

As it turns out, Ohashi isn’t the only one that feels that way. Plenty of Twitter users applauded her for using her platform for good.

Many were surprised at the types of mean comments she had received.

The gymnast also discussed the trend of pitting female athletes against one another, and closed her speech with the following inspiring words: "Trust me, your words will never be the reason for our defeat."

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