Australian Ninja Warrior’s most insane moment
OLIVIA Vivian totally stole the show on the first episode of season two of Australian Ninja Warrior.
The 28-year-old redhead, who represented Australia in gymnastics at the 2008 Olympics, became the first Aussie woman to make it up the Warped Wall in a heat on the Channel 9 show. And boy did she do it in style.
In a manoeuvre that stunned hosts Ben Fordham and Rebecca Maddern, Vivian got one hand on top of the wall, spun around so her back was touching the wall and flipped her legs over her head while pulling herself up on to the podium.
Fordham couldn't believe his eyes, saying, "What? What? What? How the hell did that happen? You're nuts!"
An equally stunned Maddern could only say, "oh my goodness!"
Speaking to news.com.au after her incredible course run, Vivian said she'd been working on the backflip for a while.
"There's an American Ninja Warrior called Jake Murray, he's done the backflip and I thought to myself, I want to be the first girl to do a backflip up the wall," Vivian said.
"Once I could consistently make it up the wall in training, I had a crack at the backflip. It's the most scary, unnatural movement."
Vivian said she'd only pulled off the move successfully a "couple of times" before she attempted it on the show, but she wanted to do something "speccy" after failing to make it up the wall three times in season one.
"Before my run I was so incredibly nervous," she said.
"I felt the pressure of a whole year on my shoulders and I knew the Warped Wall was waiting for me. I was more nervous walking up to that starting podium than I was in the 2008 Olympic Games."
Vivian said that if it wasn't for her partner, fellow Ninja Ben Polson, there's a chance she might not have made it through the challenging course.
"He saw in my face how nervous I was [before I started] and he came over and shook me and said, 'snap out of it!'
"He told me, 'be in the moment, be you, be silly.' And it worked."
After Polson's words of encouragement, Vivian walked on to the starting stage on her hands and later hung by one arm during the second to last obstacle and waved to the crowd.
"I'm a firm believer in knowing your body's ability and knowing what you're capable of," she said.
"I love to entertain and be in the moment so when I grabbed that second shelf I was like, 'all right, now I'm going to play.' I'm comfortable with my strength so I dropped one arm and waved to the crowd and blew a kiss to Ben.
"I looked at Ben's face and he scrunched it up and was like, 'get on with the course!' I just tried to enjoy that moment."
Vivian is now one of only two women who have made it up the Warped Wall on Australian Ninja Warrior after Andrea Hah did it during a semi-final in season one.
For reference, it took six seasons for a woman to make it up on the Warped Wall on the American version of Ninja Warrior.
Vivian, and her partner Ben Polson, will now both advance through to the semi-finals.
Australian Ninja Warrior continues at 7.30pm on Nine on Monday, July 9