TV

Ninja Warrior 2018: Meet the incredible women set to star on the show

It’s not just their incredible physical strength that is powering these women through the course.

By Lucy Manly

This year's season of Australian Ninja Warrior is coming soon and we can't wait to see what the contestants have in store.

And while we know Louis FitzSimons, son of Lisa Wilkinson and Peter FitzSimons, will be appearing on the show, what about the ladies? Meet the contestants who are bring girl power to this year's Ninja Warrior.

Want more celeb gossip? Listen to the latest episode of the Woman's Day Uncensored podcast, where the team chat about phony MAFS star Tracey Jewel, the sad decline of Heather Locklear and who will replace Tracy Grimshaw on A Current Affair.

Tash Sergi: "I was preparing to die"

She's defied the doctors and now she's ready to tackle her next challenge.
She's defied the doctors and now she's ready to tackle her next challenge.

She beat cancer to give birth to two miracle babies, and now this hero mum is tackling her next challenge…

Unlike most teenagers preparing to finish high school, Tash Sergi's celebrations were cut short when she was delivered frightening news that forced her to grow up quickly and ultimately shaped her future. At 17, the Perth-based fitness coach was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

"It was one of the scariest moments of my life," recalls new Ninja Warrior competitor Tash. "Being so young, I was in denial about death, and then suddenly thinking, 'Am I going to die?'"

After months of treatment, which included undergoing aggressive chemotherapy and the removal of an ovary and fallopian tube, Tash, now 31, was given the all-clear. But, as fate would have it, she'd be delivered another crushing blow by doctors.

"When I turned 24 I started having health problems again and my gynaecologist said I was premenopausal and it was highly unlikely I'd ever fall pregnant," reveals Tash, adding, "[Doctors said] if I were to try, then IVF was my best solution."

Proud mum Tash says,"I don't think they realise how special they are."
Proud mum Tash says,"I don't think they realise how special they are."

However, determined to beat the odds Tash and her partner Danny, 37, took matters into their own hands and within months they were given some happy news.

"We decided not to muck around and three months later I fell pregnant naturally… it was a miracle!" says Tash, as she wipes away tears.

Five years on, the couple are the proud parents of two little boys, Jaxon, five, and three-year-old Kody.

"It's hard to put into words what it means to me. I don't think they realise how special they are, and what I went through before I had them, but they will understand more when they're older."

Now, competing on Australian Ninja Warrior for the first time, Tash believes she has a secret weapon up her sleeve.

"When you have death flash you in the face like I did, you change the way you look at things. I make the most of life and have a total hunger to succeed!"

Amie Jenkinson: "I’m doing it for Steve Irwin!"

This Queenslander is competing for a cause close to her heart.
This Queenslander is competing for a cause close to her heart.

Marketing manager and author Amie Jenkinson vowed if she made it onto Australian Ninja Warrior she'd compete for a cause close to her heart, and the petite Queenslander has stayed true to her word.

"I've always been passionate about creatures great and small, but it was watching Steve Irwin videos that inspired me to go out and get my wildlife carers and rescue certificate," says Amie, 35.

"I didn't want 15 minutes of fame, I wanted my appearance to stand for something, and what better way to get Steve's legacy back into the minds of everyday Australians than competing for his cause.

"What screams Australia louder than Steve Irwin?!"

Power couple: Amie's husband Ryan competed on *Ninja Warrior* last year.
Power couple: Amie's husband Ryan competed on Ninja Warrior last year.

Amie is well versed on Ninja Warrior, having cheered on her husband Ryan, 30, last season.

"After seeing Ryan compete, we started training together, and he encouraged me to apply, so I thought I'd give it a crack. I'm hoping that by competing in the Australia Zoo khaki shirt it will trigger the remembrance of Steve and his legacy."

Olivia Vivian: "My heart is whole again!"

""*Ninja Warrior* has changed my life in more ways than one."
""Ninja Warrior has changed my life in more ways than one."

When Olympic gymnast Olivia Vivian got the call to compete on the show last season, she never anticipated how much she'd gain from it.

"Ninja Warrior has changed my life in more ways than one. It didn't just make me fall in love with being fit and healthy again, but led me down this path that ultimately made me cross paths with Ben, and I'm so completely in love with that man!" says the Perth cafe owner of her boyfriend, fellow Ninja Warrior Ben Polson, 25.

In recent years Olivia, 28, has fought back from a back fracture, the loss of her father, and being born with a hole in her diaphragm.

"It's been many years since my last relationship and I thought my heart had completely frozen over," she laughs.

"It's the last thing I ever expected to come out of this journey, and I totally adore him!"

Lisa Parkes: "I cheated death twice."

Last year's Lisa is back!
Last year's Lisa is back!

You'll recall gutsy Lisa Parkes from last season. Having survived a broken back and shocking sub-tropical parasite in her younger years, she frantically returned to her sick mum's bedside in England last July.

But the last thing she expected was an emergency landing shortly after take-off.

"The plane caught on fire," says the mum-of-three, 45. "I was with my kids and our seats were overlooking the wing of the plane – which was alight. All the while I was worrying as my mum's health hung in the balance."

The mum-of-three has dodged death but has come back fighting.
The mum-of-three has dodged death but has come back fighting.

It's the second time Lisa has dodged death. At 19 she was left paralysed after a car accident and told she'd never walk again.

But now she's ready to take on the course once again!

read more from