Ninja Warrior tells tale of success in adversity

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Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian
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Olivia Vivian is the only Perth Ninja to get into the Australian Ninja Warrior grand final.
Camera IconOlivia Vivian is the only Perth Ninja to get into the Australian Ninja Warrior grand final. Credit: The West Australian, Iain Gillespie

Olivia Vivian broke her back in two places and lost her father in 2013.

Shattered personally and professionally, just a year later the world-class gymnast was representing Australia again — at the Commonwealth Games.

She knows how to fight back from adversity. But she has also been “on the top of her game” and become complacent. Become lazy, and slipped back.

She is telling both points of view to students and athletes in Geraldton and the Mid West, when visiting the area as part of the “Champions 2Country” tour this week.

Vivian, 30, and other WA sporting stars Trent Mitton (hockey), Kylie Wheeler (athletics) and Tamsin Cook (swimming) are here for the Mid West Sports Federation annual awards.

Vivian — who did not represent Australia until the gymnastic “grandma age” of 19 and who later became the oldest person to represent her country — is these days best known as a Ninja Warrior.

She was an inaugural contestant in TV show Australian Ninja Warrior in 2017 and a year later was the first woman into the grand final.

Part of Team Australia in the USA vs The World Ninja Warrior in 2018, she is the most successful Australian Ninja Warrior female.

She now runs Ninja Blueprint, a business which helps people increase their fitness and Ninja training skills.

“I fell in love with the (Ninja) course, it was like a giant playground for me,” Vivian said.

“But when I failed the wall, it fuelled a fire in me I hadn’t felt for years. Failing and coming back and overcoming obstacles is what life’s all about.

“I tell these stories; you never know what will flick the switch for a young person to develop their dreams.”

The 2019 Geraldton Guardian Mid West Sports Awards will be held at the Queens Park Theatre on Friday November 15.

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