Why we don’t see viral routines like Nia Dennis’s in the Olympics

Why we don’t see viral routines like Nia Dennis’s in the Olympics

The UCLA senior’s viral floor exercise prompted shout-outs from Michelle Obama and Janet Jackson by leaning into the freedom of expression unique to college gymnastics

The latest entry in the surprisingly robust YouTube subgenre of viral college gymnastics routines dropped over the weekend, flooding timelines everywhere and generating national media attention rare for the parochial sport. The footage of UCLA senior Nia Dennis tumbling and swaying in a shimmering blue leotard to a high-energy mashup of Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Megan Thee Stallion, Soulja Boy and Tupac Shakur from Saturday’s dual meet against Arizona State was instantly hailed as a tribute to Black Excellence, racking up more than 10 million views on in a matter of days while earning shout-outs from Michelle Obama, Janet Jackson, Kerry Washington and Ms Supa Dupa Fly herself.

Related: Nia Dennis wins plaudits for stunning ‘black excellence’ gymnastics routine

Related: Laurie Hernandez: ‘Gymnastics felt like home, but coming back was unsettling’

Coming up: @LesterHoltNBC speaks with UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis about her viral floor routine: https://t.co/TuDgHyUmrA

“I really want to shine light on Black culture and bring it to the gymnastics world.”

Tune in to @NBCNightlyNews at 6:30 ET / 5:30 CT on NBC. pic.twitter.com/G2IjI2GhTd

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