UCLA's Sophina DeJesus on life after viral video: 'It's definitely been memorable'
Six weeks after her floor routine went viral (it currently has more than 28 million views and counting), Sophina DeJesus prepares for a different stage – the 2016 Pac-12 Women’s Gymnastics Championships.
The UCLA senior is preparing for her final Pac-12 meet.
“It’s definitely bittersweet moving on after this – only this meet and there’s two more left – so it’s really sad, but I’m just so happy that I get to enjoy these moments with [my teammates].”
The Bruins head into Saturday ranked second in the conference and ninth in the country. Only Utah (ranked sixth in the nation) is ahead of them in the Pac-12, and the last time those two teams faced each other, magic happened.
The February 6th meet between the Bruins and the Utes ended with a 197.100-197.075 win for UCLA, and introduced the world to Sophina DeJesus.
That day she debuted her floor routine. In case you haven’t seen it (which you most definitely should), DeJesus incorporated the Whip and the Nae Nae, and hit the Quan. She earned a 9.925 to help UCLA comeback to top Utah.
But that was just the beginning.
“When it first happened, I didn’t even realize it’d happened, especially when my mom called me and told me. I was like, ‘She is just the sweetest person.’ I was like, ‘Thanks, mom,’” she laughs.
“And then once my coach told me, I was like, ‘Oh, this is real.’ And then it all started happening so fast…It was so much fun…I’m so blessed that it happened, especially my senior year. It’s definitely been memorable.”
Memorable is one word. Epic is another. The video was picked up by countless TV stations. DeJesus has been featured on The Ellen Show, CBS Evening News, and KTLA. Celebrities have reached out to show their appreciation of her routine.
“Chris Brown facebook’d it and shared it, so I was super excited – all the stars – so it’s been super exciting and really great.”
Despite becoming an overnight internet sensation, DeJesus can be found laughing along with her teammates, enjoying their successes and dance moves with her signature smile.
Shrugging off all personal praise, DeJesus is happy for the attention her routine helped bring to the sport of gymnastics.
“I think it definitely brought a lot of publicity, and people are watching gymnastics more and appreciating the hard work that we do, and the flips that we do.
We don’t use balls like other sports, so it’s definitely a different sport to watch, but it’s really fun.”
After Pac-12 Championships this weekend and NCAA at the beginning of April, what’s next for the senior?
“I have one more quarter left at school and my big dream and goal is to go back into my other passion, dancing and acting. And hopefully land a movie or two.”
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