Alumna shows her ninja spirit

Taylor Johnson on starting block for America Ninja Warrior course

Dominating the competition

Taylor Johnson '16, MBA '18 on the starting block for NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" course.

T

aylor Johnson ’16, MBA ’18, fondly dubbed “Teej” while a student at Quinnipiac, takes on NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” competition, airing today at 8 p.m.

Johnson began her training at New Era Ninjas in Hamden, Connecticut, back in 2017 after graduating from the university’s Division I acrobatics and tumbling team. She wanted to do something to get back into shape and put her athletic background to work.    

“My interest in 'American Ninja Warrior' was piqued while I was binge watching the show,” said the former acrobatics and tumbling captain. “Something in my gut told me I could do it — so I went for it.”

Taylor Johnson holding on to ropes obstacle

Swinging into the competition

Johnson at a National Ninja League competition.

She recognized perfecting her ninja skills as an opportunity to make a statement and break stereotypes. She said she believes that her short stature and exceptional athleticism made her stand above the competition.

“As a 4’11” female in a male-dominated sport, I’m typically not seen as a ninja,” Johnson said. “I’m proving that anyone can do this if they work hard and set their mind to it.”

And prove it she has — being just one of fewer than 600 contestants chosen from more than 70,000 applicants.

However, her ability to inspire others is nothing new. As captain of the acrobatics and tumbling team, her teammates said they were inspired by her strong work ethic and commitment to never asking anyone to do something she wasn’t willing to try herself.