Hometown: Chinatown, N.Y.
Style: Technical, high-flying
If you want a competitor who’s tough, cunning, energetic, acrobatic and just flat-out entertaining, look no further than Karen Q. A gymnast for more than a dozen years who earned a Division II scholarship for volleyball and diving, Q uses her astonishing athleticism to keep her opponents guessing what’s coming next. Her gymnastics prowess is on full display when she dashes across the ring before exploding into a cartwheel back-handspring forearm.
The cerebral Chinese-American, who earned her master’s degree in nursing while training for the squared circle, blitzes the competition with a dizzying combination of technical wizardry and breathtaking aerial assaults. This softens them up for one of her favorite holds, a spine-rearranging variation of the Boston Crab.