It’s a phrase many of us have heard before: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” aka sometimes you’re too old to learn something new. But we don’t think it’s ever too late to get stronger and healthier—and these Ninjas would probably agree.
Virginia “Ginny” MacColl
If this name sounds familiar, it’s probably because Ginny is Jessi Graff’s mom and ANWN published an article about her in 2017. Ginny did her first pull-up when she was 63 and hasn’t stopped since! As her t-shirt says “Strength is Ageless.” We think so, too.
Check Ginny out on these obstacles:
Another name that you might recognize! Chris Warnky is Michelle Warnky’s father, and Ninja has turned into a family affair. The 62-year-old has realized that he might need to go at a slower pace these days, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do it! We love his mantra of “keep moving and playing.”
In season, 70-year-old Rich Talavera became the oldest competitor to complete an obstacle in American Ninja Warrior Qualifiers. As a medic in the Army, he competed for the U.S. Army and Ranger swimming and diving team. The personal trainer also mentions competing in club gymnastics until he was 40 and more recently, in the Senior Olympics in the decathlon. While Rich has a long history of athletic endeavors, trying Ninja is new and goes to show that just because you get older, you don’t have to stop doing what you love.
Watch Rich’s submission video here.
John has competed in five seasons of American Ninja Warrior and in season 8 at 64 years old, he became the oldest competitor to clear two obstacles in Qualifiers. He broke his own record in season 9 and then unfortunately failed to get past the first obstacle in seasons 10 and 11.
Watch his historic season 8 run:
As a personal trainer and gym owner, Sam Sann has trained many of the younger Ninjas who are having success on the show, including Drew Dreschel and Daniel Gil. He was inspired to try Ninja when he saw the very first season and most recently competed on season 10. Sam made it to the Las Vegas National Finals in season 5 and 7, when he became the oldest Ninja to complete a City Finals course at 48 years old.
After competing on American Ninja Warrior for six seasons, Jon Stewart announced that at 57 years old, season 11 would be his last. In season 6, he became the oldest competitor to finish a City Finals course (until Sam Sann in season 7). He also went to the Las Vegas National Finals in season 8. In season 10 at the age of 56, he beat his own record of being the oldest competitor to finish City Qualifiers. Unfortunately, he shockingly went out in the second obstacle in season 11, but his Ninja career is still pretty inspiring!