The 72-Year-Old American Ninja Warrior


Ginny MacColl, is a 72-year-old grandmother. A former Broadway dancer, she is an actress who has appeared in hundreds of commercials and several movies including Poms in 2019, starring Diane Keaton.

Ginny developed osteopenia in her 60’s, and her doctor prescribed weight training.  

“I had never been in a gym before,” MacColl reflected. “I’d never done any sports at that point.” 

It took her one year to do a single pullup. Now, Ginny can do 17 pullups, alongside her daughter Jessie.  

It was Jessie who inspired Ginny to get into fitness. Jessie is a pole vaulter, gymnast, blackbelt martial artist, Hollywood stuntwoman and American Ninja Warrior icon who has gone further in the competition that any woman ever.  

“It was never even a thought in my brain to compete in American Ninja Warrior, but I was inspired by my daughter,” Ginny said. “She looked so graceful, healthy and strong, and I wanted to get stronger. One thing led to another and the next thing you know I’m on the show!”

Ginny MacColl didn’t just compete. At the age of 71, like her daughter, she made American Ninja Warrior history, when she became the oldest person ever to complete an obstacle on the show.

As Ginny gained strength, she gained confidence and ambition. She took up competitive swimming entering the National Senior Games, in Albuquerque in 2019, Ft. Lauderdale in 2022, and Pittsburgh in 2023 — where she swam 4 events, winning 4 medals in a sport she’s learned to love. 

“Swimming uses your whole body. It sets incredible goals, and you keep wanting to beat your last goal that you had. So, I think it makes you grow bolder,” MacColl said.

She competes in Ninja Warrior and swimming to benefit herself, but it’s not lost on her that she’s also inspiring others. 

“I’ve gotten a lot of response from doing American Ninja Warrior. Inspiring people to see that you can, as you age, still do all these things,” MacColl told Growing Bolder. “To show how important it is to keep moving and keep feeling great about moving forward, and keep getting better and bolder.”

And while she’s inspiring others to get going, others inspire her to keep going.  

“What’s so inspiring about the National Senior Games is how people in their 80s, 90s and even up to 100 are doing incredible things ,like a 200 backstroke or an IM, and they’re diving off the blocks and doing flip turns,” MacColl said. “It’s just so inspiring to me to see that I have all these years ahead. I want to be one of those at 90 that’s still going.”

In her 70s, Ginny has learned that when you’re not afraid to fail, and you’re willing to put in the hard work, new challenges become nothing more than new adventures.  

“Don’t be scared to do new things and to keep moving, because you can make what may seem impossible very possible.” 

You can watch more stories just like Ginny’s for free at .

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