Kacy Catanzaro has become famous this week, for being the first woman to complete the American Ninja Warrior finals obstacle course. And she’s only 100-pounds.
The former Towson University gymnast is surprised by how many people are interested in her story.
“I knew a lot of women would be excited and inspired by it,” Catanzaro told USA Today. “But I had no idea so many people would care so much about it.”
Catanzaro, 24, was a huge fan of the Japanese show Sasuke, which inspired the American version, while in college. She started training with her boyfriend Brent Steffensen–who also competes on the show–in 2013.
She made it to the qualifying round that year but couldn’t finish, but has come back this year very strong and made history.
One of her tricks is a diet heavy in seafood and protein–staying strong but also light and lean.
Cantanzaro said when she was competing in Dallas at the final she tried to stay calm using techniques from her gymnast career.
“I do talk to myself a lot and say ‘you can do this, you can do this’ and I give myself certain tips if it’s an obstacle I’m familiar with,” she said.
“There’s really no ways to explain that feeling when you have this goal and you work so hard to get there and that moment of conquering it was just so amazing,” she said. “I was just so happy to have done that for myself and all the other women that don’t think it’s possible to compete against [men].”
And what’s next?
“Obstacles are definitely my passion right now,” she said. “So I’ll be a Ninja Warrior for as long as they’ll have me.”