UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi has pulled Michael Jackson’s music and dance moves from her floor routine following the release of HBO’s documentary Leaving Neverland. Ohashi wanted to change up her musical selection after watching the HBO special, but at the same time didn’t think it would have gained so much media attention.
“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,” she told ESPN.
Ohashi debuted her new routine over the weekend, which features music from only female artists, including Beyoncé and Tina Turner, whose music was in the gymnast’s old routine.
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She earned her sixth perfect 10 of the season despite the change in music, helping UCLA to their second straight Pac-12 championship title.
“A lot of people asked if I was nervous to change it, but I know today I felt the calmest I have ever felt competing, strangely,” Ohashi told the Daily Bruin on Saturday.
With the win, Ohashi and the Bruins qualified for the NCAA Gymnastics Championships, where she expects to perform her new routine again.