katie mcdonnell

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Freerunning with Ninja Warrior @katiemcdonnell

For more photos and videos of Katie’s urban acrobatics, follow @katiemcdonnell on Instagram.

Urban acrobat. Sometimes stuntwoman. Accidental ninja. Professional freerunner Katie McDonnell (@katiemcdonnell) competed fiercely on Ninja Warrior UK last spring, but unlike most contestants, she did not prepare for months. “I did one day of specific training for the show,” says Katie, though she still crushed the TV program’s brutal course. The 24-year-old Windsor, England, native found freerunning by chance. While practicing cheerleading flips and tricks at the gym, a group of men assembled a series of obstacles that blocked her tumbling path. “I said, ‘Well, I can’t tumble here now, but I might as well join in with what you’re doing!’” Now, even as a professional, Katie maintains a similar curious and playful attitude while tackling tough tricks on the street or in the gym. “I didn’t step out thinking, ‘Oh, I can make a career out of this,’” Katie says. “It’s something I was doing for fun.”

Reason #473 why I love Mary McDonnell:

When I went up with @kadi219 and @kate04us to get her autograph at C2E2 in Chicago on 3/18/16, she signed one and then she stopped and stared at it for a minute.

“Oh, shit!” she exclaimed, realizing that she’d written 3/16/18 after her signature. “Look what I did there. That’s like, the future. How do I fix that?” Then after another second or two, she gasped, “Have I been writing it like that all day?”