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Viral Gymnast Protests Michael Jackson During Incredible New Routine

Lynne Versluys 26 Mar 2019

This viral gymnast takes a stand against Michael Jackson following Leaving Neverland. Read to see how she's caused controversy and to watch the new routine for yourself!

An Incredible Athlete

Flickr | Susie Butler

Katelyn Ohashi, a gymnast from UCLA, went viral back in January for her incredible routine that seemed to defy the laws of gravity.

The old routine featured all music by Michael Jackson, which you can watch below:

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Now, the 21 year old is making waves again after the PAC-12 women’s gymnastics championships in Utah.

Instagram | @katelyn_ohashi

Ohashi debuted a new routine and continued to show her impressive skills, while also taking a social justice stand.

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Her new routine only features female artists, including Tina Turner, Janet Jackson, and Beyoncé.

Instagram | @katelyn_ohashi

A stark contrast to her former set list of only Michael Jackson songs.

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Ohashi was not afraid to take a stand.

Flickr | Susie Butler

While many were wondering why she mixed up her routine's music after the viral nature of the first, she explained that part of the reason was removing Michael Jackson's songs.

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After viewing "Leaving Neverland", Ohashi explained that she just didn't feel right with it anymore. She told ESPN why it felt like a necessary change:

Instagram | @katelyn_ohashi

"Honestly, in the back of my mind it did, because of the platform that I have."

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She continued, "The goal of my routine is pure joy, and after the documentary, not everyone was feeling that way, and you can never discredit someone’s feelings."

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"So yes, it was in the back of my mind because my main goal is to find as much joy as possible in this routine."

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This sends a really awesome message of solidarity to survivors of sexual assault.

While she was always planning on doing two different floor routines this year, it still isn't insignificant that she made the change. It's a small but powerful way to take a stand alongside survivors in a public forum.

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It seems like Ohashi's teammates support her 100%.

Instagram | @katelyn_ohashi

When asked about their work as a team, Ohashi explained, "We have all really prepared well and come together. … And we didn’t have to try. We really do love each other that much, and it was so much fun to be out there with every single one of us."

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If anyone was wondering if Ohashi could absolutely nail it another time, wonder no more:

She got her sixth perfect ten of the season with this new routine, helping her team win the Pac-12 championship.

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However, the decision to remove Jackson from her set list has not come without backlash.

The comments on Ohashi's social media have turned hostile.

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The comments underneath Ohashi's picture of her posing with a painting of Jackson has caused a lot of fans a lot of anger.

Instagram | @katelyn_ohashi

Because her choice for her gymnastics set has so much to do with these random people, right?

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People have accused Ohashi of using Michael for attention.

Even though her own gymnastic skills were the highlight and not the instrumental music in the background but... okay.

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Thankfully, the support seems to be drowning out the hate.

We need more strong public figures like Ohashi to take a stand.

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Continuing To Kill It

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Ohashi has become one of the sports stars to watch in 2019, and we can't wait to see what insane skill she'll display next.

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