Michelle Warnky used to be an event coordinator before she gave in to her love of parkour and obstacle courses and became a personal trainer, running her own ninja gym. The much-loved ‘American Ninja Warrior‘ veteran is one of the few women out there who are true pioneers in otherwise male-dominated sports. Want to know more about this nimble-bodied beauty? We have got all the deets right here.
Michelle Warnky: Age and Nationality
Michelle was born on June 4, 1984, and she turned 36 years old in 2020. But age is a mere number for this super fit, super agile champion. Michelle was born and brought up in Ohio, and is a US citizen. Her father, Chris Warnky, is also a Ninja Warrior athlete and has written multiple books on his ANW experience. This is a true case of like father, like daughter, because Michelle (like her dad) is growing fitter and stronger with age, it seems. Her parents have been married for 40 years so far.
Michelle grew up playing sports with the boys, and she always played to win. An avid climber and varsity athlete, she ascended to the college nationals in track. Always competing, often winning and never slowing down, she found her kindred spirits with fellow ANW athletes.
Michelle Warnky: Her American Ninja Warrior Journey
Michelle has participated in seven seasons of ANW so far, appearing in every season from the fifth to the eleventh. In season 6, she became the second woman in ‘American Ninja Warrior‘ history to climb up the Warped Wall and guarantee a spot in the city finals. In seasons 5 through 8, Michelle got to re-enter the competition as a wildcard entry because her performance was so good. In season 8, she made it through the obstacles fast enough to finish in 17th place and became one of four women to qualify for the city finals, making history as the “Fantastic Four”.
Michelle ran the season 9 course with her father Chris. It was a significant run for her as it was her best performance till then. In the season 11 qualifying round, 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, resilient Michelle was still able to finish the course in 10th place just like the previous season.
Combining brute strength with incredible balance, agility, and stamina — it’s evident that this is woman tough. But, when you peel back her extreme athletic ability, Michelle’s true strength is her mental toughness and the strength of her resilient character.
Michelle Warnky: Her Marriage
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OCT 6, 2019: 11 months ago today this happened! @buurmj surprised me so well! 😂 💍❤ When I was a kid, I wanted to get married on top of a mountain (yes, all of the guests would've had to climb the mountain to attend! 😊). Joel said, maybe we couldn't get married on mountain, but at least we got engaged on top of a rock wall! 💞 . . The day before this, we went to the ring store together, him to secretly pick up my ring, me thinking I was just looking at the rings again. The ladies then told me a ring wouldn't be available for another month or so! Joel had actually called them ahead of time and asked them to throw me off scent! We were already talking about a January 4th wedding, less than 3 months to plan, and I had actually already bought my wedding dress 🙂 (some gym moms warned me I better find one quickly with such a short engagement!). . . I left the store and wandered while Joel was going to "look at diamonds" with them. I went to the bathroom at the mall and cried, asking God to help me be patient, thinking nothing would be official for another month. I shared with Joel the next morning that I had been a little sad and was kind of hoping we would be engaged soon, so we could get invitations out to guests esp. He hugged me and told me to trust God with the timing 😂 Then later I had one of the best days of my life, when Joel asked me to marry him! 💞 . . This is just a small example, but so often that happens. We get worried or upset if something doesn't go as we think it should or hoped it would, but then God does something even better than we could've asked for or imagined, or turns a hard situation into good somehow! In hindsight, we sometimes realize how things worked out just the way they should've, and wished we hadn't been so worried or stressed about something. . . Looking at my engagement ring is always a beautiful reminder to me of Joel's love and faithfulness, as well as God's love and graciousness. It reminds me to trust Him, even when circumstances are hard or things aren't seeming to work out. . I pray that no matter what's going on in your life right now, that you can find peace through it, even in the hard times! 💞
Michelle has a whirlwind romance like those in the movies. She met her husband, Joel Buurma, almost two years ago through the online dating app, Hinge. One of her friends had recommended that Michelle give the dating app a try. Joel and Michelle met and instantly fell for each other, hard. He proposed within six months of dating. Joel proposed to her atop a rock climbing wall, something that she absolutely loved. They got married in January 2020 amid close family and friends.
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Can't believe this was 8 months ago! 💓 I love you so much @buurmj and am so thankful to be your wife! . . Btw, notice Joel has a boot on! He had just been cleared to walk with a boot the Monday before our wedding, and survived being on his feet the entire day of our wedding, despite the pain and soreness. . . Thanks for the amazing picture 💞 📸 @daniellecassidyphotography !
Now, the couple lives in Columbus, Ohio. Joel is vice-president and manager of food safety at his family-owned business – Buurma Farms. Michelle co-owns an elite parkour gym, which she started with fellow ANW veterans the Wilczewski Brothers, Chris and Brian. It’s a complete training facility for Parkour, Ninja Warrior, Obstacle Course Racing, and general fitness and it’s called Movement Lab Ohio.
As of now, they don’t have any kids. The couple likes to keep things going by leading an active lifestyle and they both like to stay fit. They are also deeply religious and very close to both their families.
Read More: How to Sign Up For American Ninja Warrior?