BYU senior gymnast, Rebekah Ripley, made her comeback performance after three years of injury and surgery at the inaugural Super 16 gymnastics meet in Las Vegas.
Despite not aiming to go viral or score a perfect 10, Ripley’s Barbie-themed floor exercise set the internet ablaze. The routine showcased her athleticism, with her coaches not feeling the need to add a third pass as the first two were difficult enough.
The routine ended with a straddle bounce off her feet while bouncing off the mat, a move she’s done since her preteen years. Ripley’s injury history includes two ACL tears and a meniscus tear, but she credits her full recovery to the BYU athletic training and medical staff.
Ripley hopes to perform the routine in front of a home crowd and gain more confidence in her balance beam routine. Ripley’s routine was set to the 1997 hit song, “Barbie Girl” by Aqua. Her performance came after suffering from an ACL tear in 2019, which resulted in wearing a clunky DonJoy orthopedic knee brace that also went viral. Her previous love for the vault was highlighted in her first collegiate attempt in 2019, where she scored a 9.825.
Ripley hopes to improve her balance beam routine as her team gains more confidence. She is excited to perform in front of a home crowd and is optimistic that her routine will go viral again. Despite not aiming for viral fame, Ripley’s Barbie-themed routine showcased her athletic talent and brought much excitement to the gymnastics community.