Get Fit with 6: Southport woman is oldest competitive female ninja athlete

She is featured in the Guinness World Records 2024 edition
MacColl has competed three times on American Ninja Warrior.
Published: Oct. 17, 2023 at 8:00 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - At 72 years old, Ginny MacColl of Southport is the oldest competitive ninja athlete and is being recognized in the Guinness World Records 2024 edition.

This wasn’t a life long dream, in fact MacColl will tell you she got a late start.

“I never went to a gym before I was 63. I never did any kind of sports,” said MacColl.

Now at 72, MacColl has the upper body strength of someone half her age and has received national recognition as a competitor on the show American Ninja Warrior.

MacColl is the oldest person to complete an obstacle, a feat which also landed her in the 2024 Guinness World Records book. She got inspired after watching her daughter compete on American Ninja Warrior.

“I saw her and I thought this is, this looks wonderful. And I remember so clearly going, ‘I want to get stronger,’” said MacColl.

Now MacColl spends her days training at an obstacle course in Oak Island with another American Ninja Warrior competitor, Chuck Mammy.

You may remember Mammy from 2015, when at 72 years old he competed on the show.

Instead of flowers and grass, Mammy’s entire yard is a garden of different obstacles designed to improve upper body strength, agility and confidence.

MacColl has competed three times on American Ninja Warrior. In season 15, which wrapped up over the summer, she had a tough time with the second obstacle.

“It was called Greased Lightning for a reason. It was very, very fast. And it was sort of like a zipline, but it had, it was more of a pipe. And it had two big jumps in it. And you had to hold on to nunchucks, which are very slippery. I was so pleased that I made it through the bumps with the nunchucks that I didn’t prepare for a good landing. And then I was kind of dead in the water,” said MacColl.

But she’s not giving up.

“I don’t expect to win the million dollars. But if I can just get a little bit further each time,” said MacColl.

She wants other women her age to have the same mindset.

“You can determine how you’re going to age by what you’re doing now. So I saw my mom that couldn’t open jars and things. I see people in walkers. I would like to extend that to the far future and be able to move well and have good balance, which is something that you lose also as you age, but you don’t have to, if you practice it,” said MacColl.

MacColl will continue training and hopes to compete again in 2025. In the meantime, you can watch her daughter Jessie Graff on season 16 of American Ninja Warrior.