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‘It's A Blessing To Be Here,' Says Ohashi of New Student-Athlete Life
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2013 American Cup champion Katelyn Ohashi told IG she was pleased by the welcome that greeted her in her debut competition for UCLA on Sunday in Los Angeles.

2013 American Cup champion Katelyn Ohashi told IG she was pleased by the welcome that greeted her in her debut competition for UCLA on Sunday in Los Angeles.

"It was so great being back," said Ohashi, whose international career was stalled by back and shoulder problems. "Having this amazing team behind me in a whole different atmosphere, and having all these (UCLA) Bruin fans, made the experience so great. It's a blessing to be here."

Ohashi won the all-around title and three apparatus titles (uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise) at both the 2011 U.S. Junior National Championships and 2012 Pacific Rim junior championships. As a first-year senior, she won the 2013 American Cup but was sidelined by injuries. After a break, she resumed her career as a Level 10 gymnast.

The Washington native, who trained at World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Texas, last competed at the 2015 Texas Level 10 championships. "Then I took a break to heal," Ohashi said, before enrolling at UCLA.

Although Ohashi's all-around performance on Sunday was not as difficulty-packed as when she competed at the international level, she dismounted balance beam with a double pike, and ended her floor routine with a double pike.

Ohashi said she was happy to perform on uneven bars, even with a fall on a Tkatchev.

"I don't normally go that high," she said with a laugh. "This is my first time in three years competing bars. It didn't go exactly how I wanted, but it was so much fun just being out there."

Ohashi said she is gradually returning to form following the injuries that plagued her as an Elite-level gymnast.

Ohashi as a junior in 2012

"Obviously I have to watch my numbers, and do what I know I need to do, to save my body," she said. "So I limit my numbers, and just try to keep as healthy as possible."

Ohashi, who hopes to be in peak health prior to this spring's NCAA championships, is adjusting well to life as a student-athlete.

"It's definitely been about trying to balance everything right now, and getting situated in college," said Ohashi, whose course schedule this quarter includes English composition, psychology and African American studies. "But I think it's finally clicked now."

Ohashi may find that competing and studying in the entertainment capital of the world may boost her professionally — especially since she is considering a career in acting.

"I came in thinking I was going to major in physical therapy, but I think I might want to major in theatre," she told IG. "They say, ‘Pick your strengths,' and I decided that maybe science wasn't the way to go. So I think that something involving people, and doing something I love, is the way."

Katelyn Ohashi is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine:
"Sky's the Limit" - Ohashi cover story (October 2011)
Ohashi cover photo, 2013 American Cup coverage (April 2013)

To order back issues, or subscribe to the print and/or digital editions of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

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