Susan Francia knows a thing or two about speed. In both the 2008 and 2012 summer Olympics, she took home gold medals as part of the women’s eight rowing team. She set a world record at the 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup II, and at the 2006 World Rowing Championships.
But, naturally, her most important accolade is appearing on season 6 of American Ninja Warrior. She didn’t make it very far on to the course, but she’s a die-hard Ninja Warrior fan.
We chatted with Francia at the 2016 American Ninja Warriors National Finals screening at Universal Studios to find out why she loves this little show.
Why are you a fan of American Ninja Warrior?
I have been a fan for years. Actually probably 10 years. Even when it was in Japan. I always was just amazed at the athleticism. Being an Olympic athlete I thought I might try my hand at it and turned out I sucked.
You were on season 6, what obstacle took you out?
I'm very embarrassed to say literally the second step. I was done.
If you could do it again and vary your strategy what would you change about it?
I would just go for it. I think I hesitated too much. So it was a little bit... It was bad.
Are you going to come out for another season?
I'm thinking about it. I'm thinking about it. Now that I'm a retired rower, maybe I can focus on being a professional ninja.
It freed up your time, so you can really get after your true passion in life, being a Ninja warrior.
Should Ninja Warrior be an Olympic sport and why?
Actually, I think it would be awesome if it was. It could be similar to BMX where literally the year before they find out what the course is and then everyone races it when they get to the Olympics. So I think it totally could. I mean these guys are so incredibly talented. They work hard too. I think it'd be a good sport to add.
Find out how Francia was feeling before her season 6 American Ninja Warrior run in the interview below!