Alyssa Beird is the only woman to be competing tonight on the season 9 finale of American Ninja Warrior tonight.
Here’s what you need to know about her:
1. She Is the Second Woman to Ever Make It to This Point in the Competition
Along with being the first female competitor to hit the buzzer this season, Beird is the second woman ever to make it to this point in the competition.
Along with American Ninja Warrior, Beird competed on both seasons of National Ninja League (she placed 2nd and 1st for women, respectively). She was also a participating in Team Ninja Warrior’s season 2 champion team “Storm Team”.
2. She Is a 5th Grade Teacher
In a recent interview with People, Beird dished, “During the day, I’m a fifth grade teacher — I prepare lessons, we do English, we do science, math, social studies… But I live sort of a double life. When I finish a school day, I continue on into ninja mode. I’m a teacher by day and ninja by night.”
3. She Is a Former Gymnast
According to her website, Alyssa was a gymnast for 15 years. She competed as a USAG gymnast up until level 7, at which point a broken foot ended her career.
Speaking to ESPN recently, Beird touched briefly on her gymnastics career, saying, “Talk to any gymnast about what it was like to leave the sport, and they’ll say there is just this big, black void of something. And you think about gymnastics all the time, so it took a long time to stop being sad about not doing the sport anymore. Ninja has now kind of filled that void.”
4. She Is a Marathon Runner and SPARTAN Competitor
Beird ran her first marathon in 2011. Two years ago, she also started competing in SPARTAN obstacle courses. Her bio reads, “In August of 2015, I decided to check out the ninja world after having been a casual watcher of American Ninja Warrior. I found a gym in my area, and I was instantly hooked. One ninja day per week quickly turned into two, then three, then four. This, combined with bouldering, plyo workouts, and an assortment of calisthenics, led me to apply to be on season 8.”
5. Her Boyfriend Is Fellow Competitor James ‘the Best’ McGrath
Beird is dating fellow ANW competitor James “The Beast” McGrath.
McGrath is an American Warrior Coach, and got his start as a walk-on in season 3, where he impressively advanced to stage 3. To date, he hasn’t failed to qualify for the National Finals.