Women of Ninja Warrior Make History Again

Last night, during the Cleveland qualifier, two more women made American Ninja Warrior history. First, was fifth-grade teacher Allyssa Beird, who was the first woman to hit the buzzer (complete the course) in a qualifier this season and was the first person to hit the buzzer last night.

Video Description: Allyssa Beird, a young, thin, white woman with long blond hair pulled back into a ponytail, stands at the starting line of the ANW obstacle course. The starting buzzer goes off, and she begins the first obstacle — the Floating Steps, which is a series of angled wedges suspended over water she has to traverse before leaping onto a swinging rope, which takes her to a platform. She swiftly completes that obstacle, and heads onto the next — the Rolling Log, which is a horizontal log on which competitors have to wrap their arms and legs and HANG ON FOR DEAR LIFE! as the log accelerates down a track, virtually throwing most competitors onto the next platform if they can hang on. Allyssa manages to hang on like it's NBD, and she's on to the next obstacle!

On the sidelines, her family, wearing "Got Beird?" t-shirts, cheers wildly. Her boyfriend, James McGrath, who is a longtime ANW competitor and all-start, grins proudly (and nervously) from the sidelines. She next takes on the Razor's Edge, which is essentially a three-part broken balance beam suspended over water. This can trip up even the most seasoned competitors, but she skips across it easily!

She's then onto the Ring Jump, a devilish obstacle in which competitors have to hang from a giant ring and hop-force their way over spikes on an inclining arm, then down a declining arm. The announcers note no woman has yet passed this obstacle. Beird approaches it by hanging backwards on the ring. We've not seen anyone try this! But she's got this obstacle's number! She scoots up one arm and down the other, and with one big jump on the dismount, SHE'S THROUGH!

The next obstacle is the I-Beam Gap, and the announcers note that no one has successfully completed this obstacle yet tonight. On this obstacle, competitors have to hang by their fingertips and heels from an incredibly shallow 2-inch lip on a suspended board, crawling underneath to the corner, where it turns upright. They have to pull themselves up, then leap across a gap to another upright board, then crawl down that one and underneath as before to the next platform.

Allyssa scoots across the first part of the obstacle like NO PROBLEM, and the crowd is going wild! She lifts herself up and LEAPS! across the gap to the next part, and the crowd is SO EXCITED! Her boyfriend beams with pride. She scoots down the second half of the obstacle, hangs, jumps, and SHE'S DONE IT!!! "Give Ms. Beird an apple!" shouts one of the announcers. He shouts at her that he's got an apple, and she grins and points at him.

She now faces the last obstacle — the Warped Wall. It's a 14'6" foot curving wall, up which competitors have to run as far as they can then leap up to grab the edge of its top ledge, and then pull themselves up on the platform, where the buzzer awaits. "Beat that wall! Beat that wall! Beat that wall!" chants the crowd.

She winds up, then runs for it, and...YES!!! She's up the wall! She's done it! She hits the buzzer and lifts her arms in triumph with a huge grin on her face. Cut to the audience where another female competitor, Jesse "Flex" Labreck, is crying with joy. Allyssa's father and boyfriend hug each other and beam as they look at her atop the Warped Wall.

"Here you go!" the announcer shouts at her, holding out the apple. "You ready?" He throws it to her and she catches it one-handed. She takes a bite of the apple and gives a thumbs-up to the camera. Fuck yeah!

* * *

Next was the aforementioned Jesse "Flex" Labreck, who is a home caregiver for a disabled young woman who always comes to see her compete. With her friend Allyssa Beird, she made history as they became the first two women to finish a qualifier course on the same night. AMAZING.

Video Description: Jesse starts to make her way easily across the Floating Steps, as Allyssa watches her excitedly and anxiously. Also watching is Jesse's boyfriend, Chris DiGangi, who is another ANW competitor, who had finished the course himself earlier in the evening. He watches her with a face full of love and pride, and it is adorable.

The announcer notes that Jesse has never hit the buzzer on ANW and is READY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. She takes on the Rolling Log successfully. The crowd cheers. She gives a nod down to her patient Emmeline, who grins back at her.

She sprints across Razor's Edge, then moves on to the Ring Jump, where she replicates Allyssa's backwards technique, and she DESTROYS IT! These women are making these obstacles look like nothing! IT'S INCREDIBLE!

She's on to the I-Beam Gap, and she's making quick work of that, too. The crowd is on its feet, jumping up and down and cheering for her. She LEAPS! across the gap, scurries across the last seven foot section, and she's through!!! It's on to the Warped Wall, and she scrambles up it in no time and HITS THE BUZZER! OMG! TWO WOMEN HAVE COMPLETED THE COURSE AND ARE AMONG THE TOP COMPETITORS IN THE SAME NIGHT!!!

Everyone is going wild, and one of the announcers tells her she's amazing. And so she is.


Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus