Katelyn Ohashi- "I was Broken"

August 9, 2018
First published on:August 9, 2018
by Jack Ol

“There was a time when I was on the top of the world, an Olympic Hopeful.“

“I was unbeatable until I wasn’t.”

“This girl’s Joy is just being present. She just keeps going and going like nothing stopping her. Living day by day and enjoying every second of it. Flipping and Flipping and even at a young age.  Even when she didn’t have gymnastics, she was still in the Gym.”

“Gymnastics was her world.”

“That Girl, that you would think had it all. All these medals in her room, podiums that she is standing on. She thought she had nothing.”

“Fans would tell her that she wasn’t good enough. She didn’t look a certain way. She wanted to eat junk food and feel okay the next day and not have to worry about getting kicked out because she couldn’t make a scale.”

“Then constantly exercising after a meal just to feel good enough to go to bed. She was on this path of almost invincibility. And then her back just gave out.”

“She wanted to experience what it was like to be a kid again.”

“I was broken.”

Katelyn had been competing on a fractured back and two torn shoulders. Due to persistent injuries, she decided to drop down from the elite level in the hopes of competing in college.

“No one ever fully knew what I was going through. And I never really could say or publicize what was wrong with me.”

“I was happy to be injured. I was told that it was embarrassing how big I’d become. I was compared to a bird that couldn’t fly. These are all things I heard before I’d even got injured. Things that when I was skinny I was told so what would they think of me when I had become big.”

“I couldn’t accept myself. Gymnastics was my worth. It was my life.”

“I hated myself.”

“It took me finding Miss Val and UCLA and having a different goal and path to follow to finally find joy and love within the sport again.”

“I look up to my coach so much.”

“My mom wasn’t exactly happy when I quit elite gymnastics and wanted to go to college. Miss Val asked her why she had like a change in her heart and she said I see how happy my daughter is.”

“And that’s all it took to really to feel like a person again.”

“I think gymnastics can be a very brutal sport but I don’t think it’s supposed to be a brutal sport. I just hope that in 10, 20 years, there will be people leaving the sport feeling untouched by it.”

“At the end of the day, I think this should’ve been my path.”

“I haven’t been able to feel this type of happiness in a long time.”

“I find my joy.”

“My voice, myself and my love for the sport.”

“It’s not the outcome. It’s not me standing on a podium with medals. It’s me being able to walk out with a smile on my face and truly being like happy with myself.”

“And that comes first.”

Katelyn Ohashi is an American gymnast currently competing for the University of California, Los Angeles. She won 2013 American  Cup defeating her teammate Simone Biles. Kate is also a 2011 junior national champion.

 

Source: The playerstribune 



Read More