Jessie Graff, who is also a stuntwoman for the popular TV show “Supergirl,” became the first woman to complete Stage 1 of the “American Ninja Warrior” national finals in Las Vegas.
Graff, who was dressed in a glittery green skirt and top that she called her “Green Lantern outfit,” made a record run through NBC’s competition course. The newly revamped obstacle course was quite difficult and only eight out of the 45 contestants were able to complete it. Graff not only finished the course, she did it with 12 seconds to spare.
Graff attempted the same challenge last year but she was unable to make it pass the curved wall obstacle named the Warped Wall. This time, however, Graff was well prepared and expertly navigated the Log Grip, Propeller Bar, Jumping Spider and the Warped Wall without seemingly working up a sweat.
However, in an interview Graff admitted she was still nervous about the Warped Wall.
“The Warped Wall — that's one of the things I wanna go back and work on," she told USA Today. “I didn't do it efficiently. I caught the wall by one hand, but it was close... I need to go to skate parks and practice running down the ramps. Skateboarders tend to do well on the Warped Wall.”
Graff has a history of athletics. When she was 6, she started her circus classes and by the age of 12 was able to catch others on the trapeze. She also practiced gymnastics and pole vault and is a black belt in tae kwon do and kung fu.
She said her motivation to be on the show was to empower herself and other women.
“My first year doing 'Ninja Warrior,' I didn’t really know what it was about. After that, when so many people were like, ‘I didn’t know women could do that,’ I thought, ‘Then, we better show you,” she said. “The main thing is just testing my limits, seeing how much you can do. Seeing how much you’re capable of.”