UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi joins us in part two of our two-part special episode with UCLA gymnastics Head Coach Miss Val Kondos-Field. Katelyn is the performer of the incredible, faultless routine that has gone viral around the world. We explore some of the positive and negative influences on her life so far, particularly that of Miss Val. Katelyn also opens up about that routine, how it was put together and the inspiration behind it before we move on to talking about the fact that Katelyn is an active blogger, poet and how she is now using her platform to communicate about some critical issues such as body image and body shaming. Finally, we then ask 21-year-old Katelyn, with the world at her feet, what is next?

Show Notes

3:01 – We start the conversation by talking gym practice and a visit from a special guest.

4:55 – Steve and Katelyn discuss how the routine went viral and how this has allowed her a platform to push on with her career after sport.

6:09 – We delve further into the routine, some of the incredible components within it, the importance of her team and the execution with laser focus.

12:36 – Katelyn believes Miss Val Kondos-Field will forever leave her legacy at UCLA and in her life.

15:35 – Katelyn was broken when she first called Miss Val at 16 years old. She goes on to share her experiences of abusive culture, assault and how this stunted her growth.

17:50 – Katelyn’s injuries were not a result of physical burnout but of mental burnout.

19:15 – Katelyn offers her thoughts on where she believes the negative culture in gymnastics has come from and how UCLA is leading the way in shifting culture.

21:00 – Gymnastics is not a bad sport, it’s the people that were allowed to dictate that are. Katelyn underlines the importance of gymnastics in shaping who she has become.

22:00 – Steve and Katelyn chat about Katelyn’s platforms online. In particular the articles, blogs and poems Katelyn has written around body image, body shaming, illness, mental health and sexual abuse.

26:45 – Katelyn hopes her creative writing empowers others in finding their voice and not feeling alone.

27:22 – Katelyn moved to UCLA in 2015 and started writing a lot when her injury kept her out of the sport for 2 years in 2016.

32:45 – Katelyn offers her advice to others going through troubling times.

34:00 – Steve and Katelyn talk about the importance of an inner circle of people as a support mechanism.

37:20 – Steve and Katelyn discuss how her viral routine was put together, the execution and the inspiration behind it.

44:50 – Katelyn talks about her injuries, the Olympic pathway, the positive relationship she has with the sport and the importance of leaving gymnastics in a good place.

46:55 – What is next for Katelyn Ohashi, the girl with the world at her feet?

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steveingham

Dr Steve Ingham is one of the UK’s leading figures in sport and one of the world’s leading performance scientists. He is steeped in high performance and has been integral to the development of Britain into an Olympic superpower. He has provided support to over 1000 athletes, of which over 200 have achieved World or Olympic medal success, including some of the world’s greatest athletes such as Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent. Steve has coached Kelly Sotherton's running for heptathlon and to 4x400m Olympic medal winning success. Steve has worked at the English Sports Council British Olympic Association, English Institute of Sport, where Steve was the Director of Science and Technical Development, leading a team of 200 scientists in support of Team GB and Paralympics GB. Ingham holds a BSc, PhD and is a Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Steve is author of the best selling ‘How to Support a Champion: The art of applying science to the elite athlete’, discussing and inspiring the importance of learning and adapting to reach our maximum potential. Steve established Supporting Champions with the ambition of helping ambitious people to find a better way of creating high-performance. Steve hosts the Supporting Champions Podcast on sharing his pursuit of understanding and exploration in performance.

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