Edmonton

Meet Quinnja, Edmonton's elite ninja

Quinn Goldie scales walls with her fingers or toes and can run across a razor thin ledge without flinching. 

'I tried it this winter and I was actually really good at it so here we are'

Quinn Goldie will compete in the Ninja World Championship this weekend in Minneapolis, Minn. (Submitted by Quinn Goldie)

Quinn Goldie scales walls with her fingers and toes and can run across a razor thin ledge without flinching. 

She doesn't wield a sword or dress in black but Goldie is a ninja warrior. 

Her ninja name is Quinnja. 

After less than a year of training in the extreme sport, Goldie is preparing for her biggest feat yet. 

She will be testing her skills in the Ultimate Ninja Athlete Association's Ninja World Championship this weekend in Minneapolis, Minn. 

"This is likely the largest competition I've ever been to, so I'm going to just have fun and try my best," Goldie said in an interview Thursday with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM. 

"I'm very, very excited."  

Goldie, 20, will be competing alongside 700 other athletes on an obstacle course designed to test agility and strength. She's among nine Edmonton athletes who have qualified for the championship. 

Competitors don't get to see the obstacle course until 30 minutes before the clock starts but Goldie is expecting monkey bars, balance beams and spider walls. 

"It is a physical challenge that involves balance, upper-body strength," she said.  "There is a lot of throwing your body and catching yourself on a bar.

"It's a little bit of all sports combined into one which is super fun." 

The Ultimate Ninja Championship is one of the largest competitions of its kind and has continued to attract more athletes as the sport gains in popularity in gyms across the world. 

The television series American Ninja Warrior brought the sport into the mainstream, Goldie said. 

"It's gained a significant amount of popularity in the past 11 years and with American Ninja Warrior only allowing American athletes on the show, I think everyone else in the world was a little jealous and were looking for other ways to compete. 

"That's how all these other organizations cropped up and started holding their own competitions." 

Goldie's journey to becoming a ninja began in earnest this winter but she is no stranger to extreme sports.

A staffer at local climbing gym Vertically Inclined, she has been rock climbing for more than 12 years and has been training as a competitive long-distance runner for years. 

Her foray into ninja competitions started with obstacle course running last summer, a particularly brutal kind of marathon where competitors are tasked with additional challenges like monkey bars and balance beams. 

She was hooked but her nerves were often ragged during competition. 

She decided "ninja school" might be the best way to calm her nerves and began training at Fitset Ninja, a gym which opened this year in Edmonton.

Within a few months she placed first among amateur women at the Canadian Ninja Championship. 

"I tried it this winter and I was actually really good at it, so here we are. 

"It's been a very crazy couple of months." 

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