For the first time in seven seasons, someone finally won American Ninja Warrior.
Isaac Caldiero, a 33-year-old busboy and professional rock climber, defeated all four stages of the final obstacle course and took home the title of being the first American Ninja Warrior, in addition to a decently sized prize of $1 million.
The season finale of ANW aired on September 14, drawing the attention of fitness fans from across the country. For those who aren’t familiar with the show, contestants make their way through a series of challenging obstacles that test their strength, agility, and endurance. The final competition, held in Las Vegas, was comprised of four stages. Contestants had to successfully traverse the obstacles in all four stages to be crowned the winner.
Caldiero dominated the competition and astonished spectators with his athleticism, but he wasn’t the only contestant who successfully completed all four stages of the “Mount Midoriyama” course. Geoff Britten, a 36-year-old full-time sports cameraman, was actually the first person to complete the final challenge. He only lost out on the prize money because Caldiero beat his time in the final stage – a 75-foot rope climb in 30 seconds or less – by a mere three seconds.
Regardless of time or who one the prize, both of these athletes accomplished an incredible feat. It’s nearly impossible to describe the determination and effort that both of these men showed during their battle against the four complex and challenging courses. Their upper body strength is out of this world, and the fact that they endured to the end of very last climb is pretty mind blowing. To get the full impact of their heart racing performances, check out the videos below from the Stage Four obstacle course.
ANW is based off of Sasuke, an equally-if-not-more challenging show in Japan. In it’s 31 seasons, only four people have ever achieved victory.
So although not everyone is destined to be a certified Ninja Warrior, this competition is a true testament to the things that can be accomplished with determination and resilience. These contestants faced adversity during the preliminary rounds, but they bounced back. They didn’t let their past failures define their future ability. Instead, they pushed passed it to become better than ever.
Photo by David Becker/NBC
Videos from the American Ninja Warrior YouTube channel.