the Brabançonne Helena, this Saturday on TF1, tells us why the Belgians are not winning

What made you want to participate in “Ninja Warrior”?

When I was little, I was a high level gymnast, I competed in all the sports I practiced: triathlon, horse riding… I don’t know how to play sports if I don’t have goal behind. I have it in my blood, my father played in Anderlecht. And as I was in lack of sporting goals, “Ninja Warrior”, represents a new challenge.

Did having practiced gymnastics at a high level help you for the course of “Ninja Warrior”?

I haven’t been doing it for a long time, but flexibility, for example, remains anchored. I think it was an asset, but I had to start climbing, and do some muscle building on my upper body. My physique has changed quite a bit. I am tall and I was lean and muscular. And there, I had gained 4 to 5 kilos of muscles in four months just in the upper body. But if I had to do it again, I would prepare myself differently. The difficulty is that in Belgium we do not have a Ninja course room. So I had to go train in France, in halls in Lille and in other cities … Where some candidates trained almost every day, I only knew how to do it once every day. two weeks. It’s difficult to be Belgian and to be a Ninja!

You are used to competition. Is it different on “Ninja”?

With the cameras, the presenters and everyone watching you, the preparation with the make-up etc., you feel the pressure rising. It’s you facing the competition… but also the public. But luckily, I had my brother, who coached and supported me. It was as if there were two of us doing the course!

There are few women who start and finish the course. Is it more difficult to pass the course when you’re a woman, when you’re normally lighter?

Yes, because we don’t have the same strength in the upper body, we have less “grip”. Our physical strength is less focused on the upper body. Those who go to the end of the “Ninja Warrior” courses usually do a lot of climbing.

Charlotte Vanbever


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