by Stewart Gross
Two Levittown siblings, Corine and Gianni Capriotti, have developed national profiles as champions in their sports, Ninja League and Boys Gymnastics respectively. Here’s the lowdown.
Corine Capriotti – Preteen National Ninja League World Champion 2020
If you’ve ever watched American Ninja Warriors on television, you have witnessed extremely strong, agile, well-trained professionals navigating some of the most difficult obstacle courses imaginable.
These amazing athletes possess prodigious balance and upper-body strength as they defy obstacles such as the “Floating Steps,” the “Warped Wall,” and the “Ultimate Cliffhanger.”
What you haven’t seen is the training ground for these Ninja Warriors that begins as early as age six. There-in lies the story of Corine Capriotti.
Now 11-years-old, Corine trains at Gravity Forge Gymnastics and Ninja Training Center in Hatboro.
She has advanced so meteorically that she recently became the only female to complete Stage One of the National Ninja League World Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina this year, making her the champion.
Corine then moved on and traversed the Stage Two obstacle course with only a half-second remaining on the clock!
To place Corine’s feat in perspective, she is one of only three Ninja athletes to ever win multiple champions. According to the NNL, the only other two are adults, Jesse Labreck in 2016 and 2019, and Drew Drecshel in 2017 and 2018.
The Ninja Warrior adults that you see on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior compete at the very same championships with Corrine in the Adult Championship category.
Proud father Tony Capriotti points out that the Ninja obstacle courses are particularly challenging because league rules prohibit competitors from warming-up on them.
Therefore, it is to a Ninja Warrior’s advantage to go late in the competition in order to see how everyone else navigates the course. Tony says that the NNL members exhibit great sportsmanship and coach each other after they’ve run the course.
The run orders are determined by how the Ninja Warriors of any age fair in regional competitions throughout the season.
They accumulate points based on their performances and must have at least one first to third place finish to qualify for the championships. Corine finished second nationally in the National Ninja League after 17 competitions this past season.
She competed in Michigan independently in 2018, and made Gravity Forge’s team the following season, in Forge’s second year of competing in the NNL.
Gianni Capriotti – Boys Gymnastics Champion
Thirteen-year-old Gianni Capriotti is a Level Nine Gymnast in the Junior Elite and Junior Olympic Categories.
Gianni has competed in boys gymnastics for six years, beginning his athletic journey at the age of six. During this time, Gianni has been the Boy’s all-around Pennsylvania Gymnastics Champion three times at Levels Four, Five, and Seven.
Currently Gianni is a level Nine gymnast.
He has competed nationally for the last three years and is ranked 12th in the United States for his age group. This past year’s National Gymnastics Championships were held in Reno, Nevada and he placed 12th there, which earned him his current ranking.
Gianni does all six gymnastics events for males – floor, rings, parallel bars, vault, pommel horse, and high bar. He competes in our region, which is Region Seven, comprised of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
In February, before COVID-19 closures, Gianni won Second-Place All Around at the Pennsylvania State competition at Chichester Recreation Center. He placed first on the floor, first on the rings, second on the high bar, fourth in the parallel bars, and ninth on the pommel horse vault.
Gianni started his gymnastics odyssey at Philadelphia Boys Gymnastics located at Temple University.
PHOTO CAPS: 1. Corine Capriotti
2. Gianni Capriotti