Meet Kacy Catanzaro, who is not only a real-life ninja, but the first woman to qualify for the national finals round of ”American Ninja Warrior,” a series that challenges athletes/ninjas to attempt the toughest obstacle courses in the world. After killing it in the regional finals in Dallas (above), she’s headed to Las Vegas for the show’s national challenge, where she’ll take on a four-stage obstacle course modeled after Mt. Midoriyama in Japan.
At only five-feet tall, Catanzaro, who is nicknamed “Mighty Kacy,” tops her small size with sheer strength (as a fellow short girl I’m totally swooning). Beyond qualifying for finals, she’s also the first female competitor to scale the “Warped Wall” obstacle on the series. The wall requires athletes to scale a 17-foot-high curved wall — a pretty epic challenge for someone less than a third as tall!
I’m not totally clear on how one trains to become a ninja (can you get a degree in that? Is there a pension plan?), but Catanzaro’s experiences as an award-winning gymnast in college were probably a big help. Watch her mind-blowing feats at the Dallas finals, which prompted one of the show’s announcers to shout out a giggle-worthy “Shut the front door!” [CBS Baltimore]