Viral gymnast Katelyn Ohashi joins Gatorade, star-studded cast to promote heat safety

Eight months ago, Katelyn Ohashi was simply a student gymnast at UCLA – and now, she's a viral sensation working alongside the likes of Peyton Manning and Serena Williams.

"My phone was blowing up," Ohashi told AOL Sports of the day her high-energy floor routine went viral back in January. "I don't even have my [Twitter] notifications on like that, so I didn't understand what was happening."

Within days, the college athlete and her parents were flown out to New York to appear on Good Morning America, and Ohashi's ascension to internet royalty was complete. Since then, she's gone viral again, stolen the show at the 2019 ESPYs with a moving speech on female stereotypes and has paired up with Gatorade to use her newfound platform for a good cause. 

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Ohashi, Manning, Williams and more are joining forces with Gatorade to help athletes "Beat the Heat" by raising awareness about hydration needs and heat illnesses, especially during the dangerous summer months.

"This is one of my favorite things I'm doing right now, being able to work with Peyton Manning and Serena and all of these people," Ohashi said. "It's another way for me to use my platform to highlight important factors of any sport – of all sports around."

Related: See Ohashi in action: 

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Viral UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi
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Viral UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Katelyn Ohashi of UCLA competes in the floor exercise during a meet against Stanford at Pauley Pavilion on March 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Katelyn Ohashi of UCLA competes in the floor exercise during a meet against Stanford at Pauley Pavilion on March 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 16: UCLA Bruins gymnast Katelyn Ohashi performs her balance beam routing in the meet against the Arizona Wildcats at Pauley Pavilion on February 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 16: UCLA Bruins gymnast Katelyn Ohashi during her floor exercise routine where she scored perfect 10 in the meet against the Arizona Wildcats at Pauley Pavilion on February 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 16: UCLA Bruins gymnast Katelyn Ohashi during her floor exercise routine where she scored perfect 10 in the meet against the Arizona Wildcats at Pauley Pavilion on February 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 16: UCLA Bruins gymnast Katelyn Ohashi during her floor exercise routine where she scored perfect 10 in the meet against the Arizona Wildcats at Pauley Pavilion on February 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - FEBRUARY 10: UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi performs her routine on the balance beam during a women's college gymnastics meet between the UCLA Bruins and the Washington Huskies on February 10, 2019, at the Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - FEBRUARY 10: UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi performs her floor exercise during a women's college gymnastics meet between the UCLA Bruins and the Washington Huskies on February 10, 2019, at the Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - FEBRUARY 10: UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi performs her floor exercise during a women's college gymnastics meet between the UCLA Bruins and the Washington Huskies on February 10, 2019, at the Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - FEBRUARY 10: UCLA gymnastics head coach Valorie Kondos instructs Katelyn Ohashi before she performs her routine on the balance beam during a women's college gymnastics meet between the UCLA Bruins and the Washington Huskies on February 10, 2019, at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - FEBRUARY 10: UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi performs her routine on the balance beam during a women's college gymnastics meet between the UCLA Bruins and the Washington Huskies on February 10, 2019, at the Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
DANA POINT, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Katelyn Ohashi attends The 2019 MAKERS Conference at Monarch Beach Resort on February 6, 2019 in Dana Point, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for MAKERS)
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Even those physical activities that take place indoors, like gymnastics, put athletes at risk of dehydration, cramping or other issues.

"We're not sweating profusely," Ohashi said of gymnasts, "but it is really important because you lose a lot when you sweat, and it's not just water."

Part of Ohashi's involvement in Gatorade's "Beat the Heat" campaign is to appear in a calendar alongside the likes of Manning, Williams and other "hot" stars like Bryce Harper and JJ Watt, reminding athletes of the importance of heat safety: 

After graduating from UCLA earlier this year, Ohashi says she's taken up hot yoga, something she says she needs "like a 64-oz. Gatorade for." The former student gymnast has also been lifting weights and running outside to stay healthy and active since the end of her collegiate career.

"It will forever be a part of me," Ohashi says of gymnastics. "It's something that I've been doing for 19 years and worked so hard for. I've probably learned everything there is to know about gymnastics, so now I'm ready to widen the horizon."

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