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Kacy Catanzaro: The First Lady of American Ninja Warrior
If you've been watching American Ninja Warrior this season on Monday nights, you've no doubt seen and been impressed with what Kacy Catanzaro has done. Prior to this season, no woman had ever completed the qualifying course.
For those that don't know, the qualifying courses in American Ninja Warrior usually begin with the Quintuple Steps, then a change of height/grip strength element, followed by a balance exercise. The last three exercises combine a swing and release element with a cargo net, then a hanging grip strength element, and lastly the Warped Wall.
The fourteen foot Warped Wall was always the nemesis for the women in the first five seasons. This season, Catanzaro, a former gymnast, became the first woman to conquer the Warped Wall and qualify for the city finals.
See her qualifying run below:
Breaking the Glass Ceiling
Once Catanzaro had broken through, it might have given other women the confidence they needed. In subsequent episodes, two other women completed the qualifying course. Michelle Warnky became the second at the St. Louis Qualifier. Meagan Martin then followed at the Denver Qualifier.
The Swinging Frames
Raising the Bar
In the second round, also known as the City Finals, Catanzaro took to the course as one of the last to be featured. In the City Finals of the Dallas course, they had the following obstacles:
- The Quintuple Steps
- The Log Grip (not that kind of log)
- The Tilting Table
- The Swing Jump
- The Ring Toss (again, not as perverted as you might want to make it)
- The Warped Wall
- The Salmon Ladder
- The Swinging Frames
- The Pole Grasper (we talked about this, not as perverted as it sounds)
- The Spider Climb
Prior to Catanzaro's run, only six of the twenty-eight men who had gone had completed the course. The Swinging Frames was a new addition that not many of the competitors had seen and proved to be tough to navigate across due to some five foot gaps between hand grips. The Pole Grasper also had one section where you nearly had to make a leap between poles that were five feet apart.
Catanzaro would crush the Warped Wall and then the Salmon Ladder before mounting the Swinging Frames. She would throw herself across the five foot gap and complete the obstacle. On the Pole Grasper, she again risked it all and literally launched herself across a gap that many others had struggled to cross.
Not to be outdone, she flew up the Spider Climb to finish strong and be the first woman to ever finish a City Finals and advance to the Finals at Mt. Midoriyama.
See video of her City Finals below: