The Might Kacy Effect On 'American Ninja Warrior' Competitors
The ladies are doing it big again on the internationally beloved competition show "American Ninja Warrior." Five women have been standouts in their time on the show -- Kacy Catanzaro, Michelle Warnky, Meagan Martin, Tory Garcia and Jessie Graff -- all of whom have backgrounds ranging from gymnastics to competitive rock climbing to U.S. military intelligence. Watch Graff fly in a recent competition.
All of the aforementioned women have displayed some of the strongest performances in the show's history. In Catanzaro's case, her performance on ANW begat her own Twitter hashtag, #MightyKacy.
And speaking of #MightyKacy, espnW spoke with Kent Weed, executive producer of ANW, who offered his thoughts on everything from the aforementioned hashtag to the impact that women make on the show to advantages that women may have in competing against men on the ANW platform.
espnW: Why do you think women are doing so well this year?
Kent Weed: There's a few reasons. Firstly, interest in "American Ninja Warrior" has grown overall, so women are trying out and competing on the show in bigger numbers. They're also training harder and smarter. More serious female athletes are taking part, as well.
espnW: Do you think Mighty Kacy has anything to do with the success? If so, why?
KW: Absolutely! She is the inspiration behind the growth of female competitors on the show. She showed women that it could be done -- and that anyone could do it.
espnW: What kind of impact would a woman winning ANW make?
KW: It would be amazing. Women continue to succeed more and more in predominately male-dominated sports. It is gratifying, uplifting and rewarding to see our female competitors do as well as -- if not better than -- their male counterparts.
espnW: What type of physical advantage (if any) do you think these women have over the competition?
KW: Their biggest advantage, in my opinion, is their strength-to-weight ratio. When you consider that much of the "American Ninja Warrior" course relies on the athlete carrying their full-body weight by just upper-body strength alone, then the less weight the athlete has to carry, the more stamina available per obstacle.
Will we have a female American Ninja Warrior this year? Let's hope!
Sandy Dover has contributed to ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network's "Nets Are Scorching" and "Knickerblogger" blogs. A multimedia producer, feature writer and correspondent, you can follow Sandy on Twitter @San_Dova.