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Caitlyn Bergstrom on her family’s Ninja Warrior advice, ‘Don’t be a weenie’

The rookie advances alongside her brother, Caleb.

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Quantrell Colbert/NBC

Caitlyn Bergstrom’s rookie season on American Ninja Warrior has been a family affair. After her father and older brother ran the course last year, Caitlyn didn’t want to be left out. So for season 11, she applied along with her younger brother Caleb. The two have both enjoyed solid starts to their seasons.

After making it to the Ferris Wheel at the Atlanta City Finals, Caitlyn is heading to the National Finals in that region’s number one spot for women. She’ll be joined in Vegas by Caleb, who placed 10th overall, making them the first sister and brother competitors to advance.

Get to know Caitlyn a little better with her interview below.

How she got the Ninja Warrior bug

“I’m competing with my brother. We actually submitted together, but my whole family has been doing Ninja. My dad did it last year, my brother did it last year. And so I guess just following along with the family tradition and just competing with my brother is just such a great experience.”

The advice she got from her family

“Besides don’t be a weenie? They’ve always told me to just have fun with it. No matter what happens, my dad even told me he’s always going to be proud of me just for putting myself out there and doing it because I’ve never really liked the stage, so they’ve always told me just, ‘Shine bright and just be able to inspire people and go out and just just have fun with it.”

On the ups and downs of this sport

“I’ve done a lot of Ninja competitions, like local comps and it’s just sometimes I do really great and then sometimes you just completely fall on something that you’ve trained a lot on. It’s just you never know what’s going to happen. So it’s just kind of rolling with the punches and just keeping a great attitude.

No matter what happens, I just want to have all that I’ve been training for a really long time come through and just, I don’t know, just do my best. That’s why I really wanted to not let the nerves get to me is what I really want.”

Reflecting on the City Finals

“City Finals experience, oh man. How do I even say it? It was just such a great experience to be a part of. Even making it to City Finals and especially seeing my brother get the Mega Wall and then seeing how well he did. It was just really motivating and really just amped me up to be able to do my best, because it doesn’t matter how I do as long as he’s doing awesome.

So, it just got me really excited, and City Finals is just... I feel like it was easier to think while I was doing the course then night one. Qualifiers was kind of blur but City Finals was like, I can kind of be in the moment and kind of know what I’m doing.

I was a little disappointed in myself for not sticking my dismount (on the Ferris Wheel). It’s still really exciting because I know it is my rookie year, and making it to Vegas is just something I didn’t even dream that would happen. There are so many strong females and so many other experienced athletes, I didn’t think that I’d be able to be a part of it and be able to have that spot in my rookie year is just the coolest thing. Especially making it with my brother.”

Making it to Vegas as a rookie

“I freaked out. I started... I couldn’t even believe it in the beginning and I just started crying. It was also in the middle of the night, but my mom started crying and we were all just super excited. It was just unreal.

I think I have what it takes to finish Stage One, after that, we’ll just see what happens. I’m not thinking about a Stage Two quite yet, just because I have to finish Stage One first.”