Why Jessie Graff Dresses Like Superheroes On American Ninja Warrior, According To The Athlete

american ninja warrior jessie graff wonder woman

American Ninja Warrior has put a number of elite athletes in the spotlight, and viewers who might never have heard of them have gotten to see them in action. Jessie Graff has been making waves ever since she first started competing on American Ninja Warrior, and she's certainly one of the best-known. While her accomplishments as a competitor are more than reason enough to cheer her on, Graff has developed a reputation for donning superhero costumes to tackle obstacles. She is the real-life Wonder Woman of American Ninja Warrior, and she revealed to CinemaBlend what motivated her to dress like superheroes for obstacle courses, saying this:

My first year, I actually dressed as a chicken to advertise my short film 'epic chick fight,' but a parent messaged me on twitter about her 6-year-old daughter, who was normally a somewhat sedentary child. She said that after watching me, she said 'I like her. I like her outfit,' then promptly dressed her Barb like me, and went outside to climb the jungle gym with her. It made me realize how much my choice of clothing could affect my influence on kids. So, I choose outfits that seem most likely to inspire kids to get active.

Jessie Graff has been breaking records and making history on American Ninja Woman, overcoming obstacles that many might never have thought a woman could possibly handle. Her abilities as a stuntwoman make her an exciting athlete on the course, and her accomplishments as a female competitor make her a role model for youngsters everywhere. There's nothing wrong with dressing as a chicken -- after all, somebody else once dressed as a dinosaur -- but there's something special about a superhero. What better way to inspire little girls and little boys than by dressing like Wonder Woman and then proving that nobody needs superpowers to achieve goals?

In her career as a stuntwoman, Jessie Graff has actually been part of major superhero shows like Supergirl and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. When I asked what kind of roles she'd be interested in if she decided to pursue acting herself, she had this to say:

YES! Action/Adventure roles. Specifically, Arachne (from the Marvel universe) or Black Canary (from DC), but any super hero would be great. I'd also love to play a pirate, adventurer, fighter, cop, firefighter, soldier, castaway... That's the thing I love about acting. You can be ANYTHING!

We've seen over and over again that Jessie Graff can tackle epic superhero-esque stunts without need of a double on American Ninja Warrior; she could be pretty perfect to play a superhero on the small or big screen. We've already had a few Black Canaries in The CW's DC universe, but there are other DC universes on TV that could definitely use a Black Canary. Then, there are the big DC movies that are already moving toward more female heroes.

On the Marvel side, Jessie Graff has already mastered the Jumping Spider obstacle on American Ninja Warrior, so why not a superhero who gained her abilities via spider venom? Graff has worked on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; maybe Arachne could turn up in Season 5 or beyond! If not there, then one of the other Marvel TV shows or movies. Superheroes are all the rage nowadays, and Jessie Graff has practically been auditioning on American Ninja Warrior for years. Take a look at her in action!

American Ninja Warrior returns to NBC for Season 9 on Monday, June 12 at 8 p.m. ET. You can catch Jessie Graff ahead of the Season 9 premiere, however, in the special USA vs. the World event that will feature a team of elite American athletes against teams from Japan and Europe. Graff is the first woman ever to make it to one of the all-star teams, and a preview indicates that she'll be making history in more than one way.

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Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).