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Kacy Catanzaro        

Gymnast, First Woman to Qualify for Television Show "American Ninja Warrior"

Kacy Catanzaro is an American gymnast noted for being the first woman to qualify for the finals of the television sports challenge, American Ninja Warrior.

Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, Catanzaro grew up and attended high school in Belleville. She is a relatively small woman, standing 5 feet (1.5 m) tall and weighing only 100 pounds (45 kg). She began doing gymnastics at age 5. She attended Towson University in Towson, Maryland from 2009 until 2012, studying early childhood education on an athletic scholarship. She competed in gymnastics for Towson in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and was named the Southeast Regional Gymnast of the Year in 2012.

She was also named the 2012 Eastern College Athletic Conference Gymnast of the Year and was the top-ranked competitor in that conference for that year. She has worked for Alpha Warrior, an obstacle-course gym in San Antonio, Texas, since February 2013.

Catanzaro spent two years training for American Ninja Warrior alongside her boyfriend and co-competitor Brent Steffensen. She did not complete the qualifying course in Venice, California but was a wildcard at the 2013 finals.

In 2014, Catanzaro became the first woman to complete the qualifying course of American Ninja Warrior, making it up the warped wall on her second try at 5:26.18 at the Dallas qualifiers, ranking her 21 out of 30; this also makes her the first woman to make it up the warped wall. On July 14, 2014, Catanzaro competed in the Dallas finals of American Ninja Warrior. She was the first woman ever to complete the course (and the first woman to attempt it), qualifying for the national finals in Las Vegas with a time of 8 minutes, 59 seconds. Host Akbar Gbaja-Biamila remarked "I've seen greatness during my NFL career...And I've been in awe of people, but I am really in awe of Kacy."

Her achievement made her a social media phenomenon, with her run being viewed over 7 million times; supporters on Twitter coined the hashtag #MightyKacy.

News


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