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For 20 hours a week, Katie Bone can be found training.
Like many others, there are days that she doesn’t want to get to NinjaForce Gym.
Yet, the 16-year-old pushes through and gets it done.
The Albuquerque resident’s determination isn’t surprising to anyone who knows her.
And tonight, Bone will be one of the competitors on “American Ninja Warrior,” which airs at 7 p.m. on NBC. She filmed the episode in San Antonio, Texas, in mid-March.
“It’s been a goal of mine to get on the big show,” Bone said. “It was surreal to be a part of because I’ve looked up to all of these people for a really long time.”
Bone is no stranger to the TV competition. She whet her appetite as a contender on “American Ninja Warrior Junior” in 2020.
Being on the show also presents Bone with the opportunity to be an ambassador for Type 1 diabetes awareness and representation. While diagnosed at 11-years-old, Bone has not only appeared on two iterations of the competition series, but is also a nationally ranked rock climber.
Bone manages her diabetes with Omnipod – a tubeless insulin pump – which helps make it easier for her to be active.
“My goal is to make it to the Olympics,” Bone says. “Having diabetes doesn’t define me. I wear (my Omnipod) on my arm and it could potentially inspire someone. Being visible on this level is something I’m proud of. It’s powerful to stand up there and be myself completely.”
Josh Kronberg, owner and coach at NinjaForce Gym and six-time “American Ninja Warrior” competitor, trains Albuquerque-based competitors.
“This season alone, we have eight of our ninjas competing in the San Antonio qualifiers,” Kronberg said. “Tom Simek, Megan Jarmosevich, Paul Joye, Ramya Stevens, Cassie Dierks, Steven Cen, Patterson Yazzie and Katie Bone. All are great people, talented athletes, and are so much fun to coach and train with.
“Katie Bone has been on our competitive team for the past three years. She is definitely a natural born ninja! Her upper body and grip strength is off the charts and she is super graceful. Always a pleasure to have her in the gym. We are super excited to see how this season plays out.”
Bone’s mother, Tammy, has been inspired watching all facets of her daughter’s journey.
“Katie was driven and a determined person before her diagnosis,” Tammy Bone said. “She’s never let it stop her. She wanted to go to the gym the day after we came home from the hospital. She figured it was going to be hard and she’s figured it out.”
In the five years since being diagnosed, Katie Bone said she’s learned how to manage her diabetes.
“I’m more aware of what I’m putting into my body,” she said. “It’s something I’m grateful for. It’s helped a lot in keeping me able to train at a high level.”
Katie Bone said her experience on the show this time was completely different.
“This is a much bigger platform for me to share my story,” she said. “Competing alongside people that I’ve looked up to for so long has been life-changing and inspiring. … I never want to get to a point in my life where I regret anything.”