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Michelle Warnky-Buurma is an event coordinator from Columbus, Ohio, who works for Chris Wilczewski's gym, the Movement Lab. Warnky is known as one of the first women to clear the qualifying course and the second woman to clear a city finals course on American Ninja Warrior.

American Ninja Warrior 5

In American Ninja Warrior 5, she made it to the Circle Cross before ending up wet. Due to night one of filming getting rained out, she ended up running in daylight, thus being entirely cut from the broadcast. Despite that fall, she was chosen to be a part of the group of wildcard entries that were selected for Mt. Midoriyama. There, she was one of many women to fail the Giant Cycle.

American Ninja Warrior 6


Michelle Warnky at the 2014 St. Louis Qualifiers - American Ninja Warrior

In American Ninja Warrior 6, she became only the 2nd woman in American Ninja Warrior to climb up the Warped Wall and guarantee a spot in the city finals.

In the city finals, Michelle was able to beat first half of the course easily. But, on the Salmon Ladder, she wasn't able to grab the bar with her right hand and fell in the water. Once again, she was chosen to participate in Vegas as a wildcard and got her revenge on the Giant Cycle. On the Silk Slider, however, she wasn't able to see the landing platform correctly and slid off the platform into the water.

She also competed in the SASUKE ASEAN Cup. On the course, she went well through the first few obstacles. Unfortunately, she failed the Cliff Hanger inches from the finish.

American Ninja Warrior 7

In American Ninja Warrior 7, Michelle returned to the course with high hopes of completing the whole qualifying course including pressing a button in Vegas. On the course, she was able to maneuver through the first four obstacles easily using a unorthodox strategy on the Wind Chimes. She almost fell on Snake Crossing, but was able to save herself. On the Devil Steps, Michelle was going through the first half of the obstacle at a decent pace. After the transition, Michelle went down the steps at an unusual slow pace. As a result, Michelle tried to go for the early dismount off the obstacle but was only able to touch the platform with right foot causing her to fall back into the water. However, she made it far enough in a fast enough time to qualify for the city finals. She finished in 29th place.

In the Pittsburgh finals, however, she unfortunately went out on the Snake Crossing after she had lost her balance. It was, however, confirmed that she would be a wildcard for the 3rd year in a row.

In the Las Vegas finals, Michelle cleared the first three obstacles easily including the Silk Slider that took her out last year. On the Jumping Spider, though, she didn't get a high enough jump into the walls and fell in the water. This is her best Vegas performance to date.

American Ninja Warrior 8

Michelle competed in American Ninja Warrior 8 in the Philadelphia qualifying region. She maneuvered through the first four obstacles at a steady pace. However, her grip gave out on the Rolling Thunder causing her to fall in the water. Fortunately, she made it to the obstacle fast enough to finish 17th place and became one of four women to qualify for the city finals, making history as the Fantastic Four.

In the city finals, she failed the Rolling Thunder obstacle once again in the city finals. She did, however earn a wildcard spot in Vegas. Her run on stage 1 was digested, but like many others that night, she failed the Propeller Bar.


Michelle Warnky at the Philadelphia Qualifier - American Ninja Warrior 2016

American Ninja Warrior 9

Michelle returned to compete in Cleveland In American Ninja Warrior 9. But this time, she competed along with her dad Chris. In qualifying, while Chris failed the Razor's Edge during his run, Michelle failed the Ring Jump. But fortunately, with the addition of the rule in which the top five women will advance in the city finals, she landed in the top four which means she advanced in the city finals with Jesse Labreck and Allyssa Beird leading the group.

Michelle Warnky stocking out her tongue at the Nail Clipper in Cleveland Finals.

In the finals, she ran as the first competitor of the night. She beat the Salmon Ladder that took her out three years ago. Warnky battled all the way to the Nail Clipper before gassing out and failing. However, with the new top 2 women rule in play, she was too slow to qualify for Vegas and missed out on the national finals for the first time in five years. Still, it was a significant run for her, as it did mark her best performance on a city finals course at the time.

American Ninja Warrior 10


Michelle Warnky at the Philadelphia City Qualifiers - American Ninja Warrior 2018


American Ninja Warrior - Michelle Warnky at the Philadelphia City Finals (Sneak Peek)

Michelle returned in American Ninja Warrior 10 in Philadelphia. She was very determined to hit another buzzer, having not hit one for four years. She had a very confident run going, even with a stumble on the Lightning Bolts when the bar snatched back on the middle bolt, but she still cleared the obstacle. On the Warped Wall, she attempted the Mega Wall, being the second woman to do so that season, but came up short. She still completed the 14'6" wall and hit her first buzzer for four years and became the fourth woman that season to complete the city qualifying course.

In the city finals, Michelle once again ran as the first competitor on the course, she got to the Captain's Wheel before gassing out. She tied with her city finals performance last season in Cleveland, but this time, she made the top 15, placing 12th overall.

Although she had a strong season going, on stage one, she shockingly failed the first obstacle Archer Alley. She became one of two Fantastic Four members to fail there, with the other being Allyssa Beird.

American Ninja Warrior 11


Michelle Warnky's Bloody Amazing Run - American Ninja Warrior Cincinnati Qualifiers 2019

Michelle returned to compete in Cincinnati in American Ninja Warrior 11. In qualifying, she had a shocking injury on the run, cutting her face on the Ring Swing. It caused her to bleed just above her left eye. Despite the blood trickling down her face, she still was able to finish the course in 10th place just like the previous season.


Michelle Warnky Makes History! - American Ninja Warrior Cincinnati City Finals 2019

In the city finals, Michelle shared that she’s facing some big medical decisions with her discovery that she carries the BRCA2 mutation, which puts her at a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer. During her run, She was able to make it to the back half of the course for the third straight year, and got her revenge on the eighth obstacle, this time being Slam Dunk. Amazingly, she completed Spinball Wizard and scaled the Spider Trap, becoming just the second woman in American Ninja Warrior history to clear a city finals course behind Kacy Catanzaro in American Ninja Warrior 6. She placed 7th overall and gained the automatic qualification for Vegas.

At the national finals, Michelle survived Archer Alley. Sadly, she fell at the next obstacle, Spin Your Wheels, and her season was over.

American Ninja Warrior 12

Michelle returned to compete on American Ninja Warrior 12. This time, as a married woman. Going by her new name, Michelle Warnky Buurma, she hinted that she may take some time off after this season to focus on starting a family. In a shocking turn of events, her qualifying run got cut short after she fell at the Lunatic Ledges. This marks the first time her season has officially ended at the qualifying rounds.

American Ninja Warrior: Women's Championship

Michelle returned after an early exit to compete in the American Ninja Warrior: Women's Championship. She made it through the first 2 obstacles, but on Beehive, disappointingly went out on the third Beehive. She did not make it past the first round.

American Ninja Warrior 13

Michelle returned once again to compete in American Ninja Warrior 13. In the third episode of qualifying, she had another shocking early exit. Her run was digested, but on Split Decision, she decided to take on Domino Effect and failed it, not making the women’s Top 5.

This marks the second time she missed the semifinals and the third time she has not qualified (without help from a Wildcard) to the national finals.

American Ninja Warrior: Women's Championship 2

Michelle competed once again in the second Women's Championship, where she was the first runner. She survived the first two obstacles, even getting revenge on the Lunatic Ledges which had knocked her out in Season 12, however she ended up messing the dismount of Barrel Roll up, and went upside down before falling into the water. She did not advance this time to the second round again.


  • Before the wildcard rule was removed, Warnky had the most instances competing in Las Vegas as a wildcard, doing so a total of 4 seasons.
  • She is second competitor to finish a course with blood dripping from her face, with the other being Chad Hohn (who did so twice in both American Ninja Warrior 7 and American Ninja Warrior 11).

Team Ninja Record

Season Episode Round Heat Opponent Team Opponent Result Notes Individual Record
Team: Lab Rats
1 5 (Qualifying) Round One 2 Iron Grip Richelle Hepler Win 1-0
1 5 (Qualifying) Round Two 2 Elet-Trikz Cassie Craig Win Cassie fell at the Swing Jump. 2-0
1 8 (Finals) Round One 2 Storm Team Moravsky Marybeth Wang Win 3-0
1 8 (Finals) Round Two 2 ExpendaBulls Luci Romberg Win Both of them failed at the Warped Wall after 3 attempts. However, Michelle reached the obstacle first. 4-0
2 4 (Qualifying) Round One 2 Iron Grip Barclay Stockett Win 5-0
2 4 (Qualifying) Round Two 2 Team Grit Maggi Thorne Win 6-0
2 9 (Wildcard) Round One 2 Karsten's Fast Kats Joy Strickland Win 7-0
2 9 (Wildcard) Round Two 2 NorCal Ninjas Anna Shumaker Win 8-0
3 6 (Qualifying) First Matchup 2 Big Dog Ninjas Brandi Monteverde Win 9-0
3 6 (Qualifying) Final Matchup 2 The Ballers Meiling Huang Win Meiling fell at the Floating Tiles. 10-0
3 15 (Playoffs) First Matchup 2 Young Bloods Bree Widener Win 11-0
3 15 (Playoffs) Final Matchup 2 Team Ronin Meagan Martin Loss 11-1

American Ninja Warrior Results

ANW # Result Notes
5 14 Failed Giant Cycle (Stage One) Digest. Qualified as Wildcard.
6 29 Failed Silk Slider (Stage One) Qualified as Wildcard.
7 Failed Jumping Spider (Stage One) Qualified as Wildcard.
8 Failed Propeller Bar (Stage One) Digest. Qualified as Wildcard.
10 Failed Archer Alley (Stage One) Digest.
11 1 Failed Spin Your Wheels (Stage One)