For Easton Conn. resident, Jordan Carr, 13, the road to competing on Season 2 of American Ninja Warrior Junior, the youth edition of the famed American Ninja Warrior show, was a hard-won effort.
“I’d been a competitive climber for almost a decade when. I saw the first season of ‘ANWJR’ on TV. Obstacle course racing requires a lot of upper strength, just like climbing, and I really wanted to try it,” Jordan said.
Jordan’s persistence paid off and will be on national display on April 17 at 6 p.m. when the program is slated to air on Universal Kids. See the competition videos below for a preview of her strength and grit.
Her achievement began with a broken leg in December of 2018. After weeks of begging her parents to take her to a ninja competition, she convinced them to let her go to New Jersey with a friend.
“I’d never trained ninja before so I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the obstacles,” Jordan remembers. ” I got hung up on one, fell off at a weird angle, and broke my tibia and fibula. But I came in first.”
Although it prevented her from going to another ninja competition for a while, the broken leg didn’t stop her from competing at the USA Climbing New England Bouldering Divisional two months later. Determined to compete, she wore a climbing shoe six sizes too big over her cast, stuffing the extraspace with paper towels.
“It was crazy,” she admits.
“When I first came into the gym on my crutches everyone was wondering what I was doing there, but I ended up making it to the finals the next day and coming in 10th in New England,” Jordan said.
Her story of perseverance and grit, despite her injury, impressed the ANWJR producers enough to reach out to her in less than 24 hours after she submitted her applications for the popular game show in early May.
Last July, Jordan traveled to Los Angeles to film the show as one of 150 other junior ninja competitors selected from a pool of 10,000 applicants.
“It was amazing to be in downtown L.A., competing on a course with so many great ninja kids and to train with mentors from the adult show like Jessie Graff and Drew Dreschel,” Jordan said.
“For a lot of kids, being on the show was a dream come true,” she added. “But for me it was really the start of my ninja dream.”
Jordan loved the experience so much she shifted her emphasis from climbing to pursuing ninja as her main sport. Her next steps in following her passion all came down to timing.
A few months after the filming, Drew Dreschel, the $1 million dollar winner of season 11 of American Ninja Warrior opened a branch of his Real Life Ninja Academy training gym in Stamford. Jordan began training there in September and has never looked back.
Coached by Flip Rodriguez, Joe Moravasky, and Drew Dreschel, Jordan traveled to Greensboro, N.C. four months later to compete at the national Ninja League’s 2020 World Championship, winning the title of Teen World Champion.
Two weeks earlier, she was the youngest female athlete on the podium at the UNX Ninja League’s championship in Chicago.
Staying safe at home during the COVID-19 outbreak isn’t slowing her down. Since Jordan can’t go to the gym, she and her dad spend many afternoons building ninja obstacles outside, bringing the ninja gym to the family’s backyard.
Check out Jordan’s prowess in these two separate ninja competitions: