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Tabatha Chandler, aka "Goldie Knocks"

Goldie has proven she's got guts — and grit. And despite not clinching a win Thursday night on "American Grit," local woman Tabatha Chandler says she's proud of how she did.

"I'm feeling very thankful, and I'm feeling proud of my performance. I was hoping to show women and young girls that we can be very strong and powerful. Don't be afraid to face your fears," said Chandler, as dozens of friends and family members were gathered Thursday in Hixson to root for her.

The inaugural season of the show, which filmed for about two months in Washington state, featured military-style challenges and training with $1 million at stake.

Chandler, a nurse at Erlanger hospital and for Cigna Insurance, was one of 16 people who competed on the show. Eight men and eight women were paired up in four teams — or cadres — of four each and matched with a former member of the Marines, Navy SEALS, Army or Army Rangers who served as cadre leader. Each week, a contestant was eliminated until only eight remained heading into the finale.

As Goldie Knocks, she competes with the Chattanooga Roller Girls roller derby league. The mother of two has credited her love of roller derby for her early success on the show.

"Roller Derby prepared me strength-wise. Physically, I'm strong and I was able to pull myself up, but several times I did walk away with some bruises," she told the Times Free Press in April.

On Thursday, she reflected on her time on the show.

"Life is not a race. It's a test of endurance."

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