American Ninja Warrior contestant Jessie Graff made headlines earlier this summer when she dominated a daunting Season 8 course. The Supergirl stuntwoman channeled her inner superhero, donned a Wonder Woman outfit, and zipped through the 2016 qualifying round. Now, she's picked out a brand new superhero costume and is getting off to a killer start during National Finals Week 1 with an incredible performance. Check it out!
The Wonder Woman outfit was perfect when Jessie Graff kicked off this season of American Ninja Warrior and showed off moves that any superhero would envy, but it feels right that she's wearing a different outfit for this latest round of competition. If she keeps up her furious pace as a competitor, she'll soon need a superhero name that's all her own. Honestly, the wind gusts in the clip look strong enough to blow any lesser mortals off the course and into the water. I'm sore just after watching her blow through the first stage.
Of course, the clip is only a sneak peek at Jessie Graff's full performance in the National Finals. She still has the rest of the course to complete, and the challenges are only going to get harder as she advances. The announcers already said that the obstacles have been brutal on all the competitors. Still, it sounds like Graff made it past some of the obstacles that took down others athletes, and the ease with which she seemed to manage the jumping spider move is definitely a reason to be optimistic about what's ahead of her during the rest of her run on American Ninja Warrior.
Jessie Graff's performance is remarkable for any athlete who would dare try an American Ninja Warrior course, but it's especially fantastic for a female competitor. Women who fight for the top title face even bigger obstacles than many of the male competitors just based on differences in physical sizes and upper body strength, which makes up a good portion of the challenges. Even the women who are in peak physical condition may not have the reach to pull off some of the more impossible-looking stunts. The first woman ever to qualify for American Ninja Warriors finals was knocked out of competition when she was too short to physically reach the walls to complete the jumping spider. At 5'8" and with her background as a pole vaulter, Graff may have what it takes to keep moving forward in the Ninja Warrior finals.
American Ninja Warrior competition has been getting stiffer and stiffer as the years have passed. For the first six seasons, nobody even managed to complete the final finals course. In Season 7, two men managed it. Who knows? Maybe Season 8 will see a woman make it to the very end. Jessie Graff certainly has a lot of people (and one pig) cheering for her to make it all the way.
You can catch the rest of Jessie Graff's run to complete the national finals course of American Ninja Warrior tonight at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what you'll be able to watch on the small screen in the not-too-distant future.