Karen Potts trains to become American Ninja Warrior Junior champion


Leah Starr, Profiles Editor

The number of people who can play sports or are athletic is not limited, but how many people can say they have been on American Ninja Warrior Junior? Freshman Karen Potts can. Potts started ninja training in December 2018, and since then she has not only competed on American Ninja Warrior Junior season two, but she has also conducted a schedule that allows her to stay involved in school, sports and ninja competitions and trainings. “I have been doing sports for my whole life, but never something like ninja,” Potts said.

After seeing the first season of the show, Potts decided she wanted to become involved in this type of training. She found the closest ninja gym and took her first class, later realizing she loved it. After returning many times, Potts knew this was something she was passionate about.
Currently, she trains at a ninja gym in Northern Virginia on the competition team in addition to a small course at her house for at-home training. Her team in Northern Virginia has team practices and travels together for competitions. “I love ninja because it’s an extremely fun way to get great exercise,” Potts said.

When the application for American Ninja Warrior season two came out, Potts was eager to apply. She filled out the online application and submitted the required videos. Out of the thousands of people who applied, Potts managed to qualify with 144 other kids, 48 of whom were in her age group. She then filmed on the American Ninja Warrior Junior set with the other contestants, for season two, which will air starting February 23 at 7 p.m. on Universal Kids. “Filming the show was an amazing experience because I got to meet the other junior ninjas and compete against them, as well as some of the top pros,” Potts said.

Not only does Potts carry out ninja training but she also plays soccer and softball. Ninja training continues to be different from her other sports because she competes individually within a short time and she does not have a chance to redeem herself after mistakes. “If you fall you are pretty much done,” Potts said.

Although ninja training is unique, it has helped her with her other sports because ninja training is extremely beneficial to upper body strength as well as conditioning and agility.

Potts has managed to find time to do all of her extracurriculars and keep up with school. “I’ll definitely always make time for ninja because it is something I love to do,” Potts said.

Potts’s teammates are impressed with her talents and support her through her ninja journey. “I play soccer and softball with Karen and she is so determined; she has a really good work ethic,” sophomore Lizzy Nelson said.

Potts sees her ninja career just starting and she is excited to see where it will take her. “I definitely recommend ninja because it is extremely fun and you don’t even realize you are getting exercise and building a lot of strength,” Potts said.