American Ninja’s From Colorado
I was addicted to the original Japanese TV series Ninja Warrior. Specifically the American dubbed version with announcers full of witty comments. Now we have an American version of Ninja warrior and if you recently watched, we had a few Colorado residents make it through to the next round… Go Colorado!
In a state that is already home to a lot of rock climbers and outdoor athletes, we might have to make room for a couple of ninjas.
Longmont residents Paul Kasemir and Brian Arnold have emerged out of the Midsouth regionals to earn spots in the national finals of G4′s American Ninja Warrior, which puts contestants through an incredibly daunting and physically demanding obstacle course for the chance to win $500,000. American Ninja Warrior is a new, stateside version of the already established television show from Japan, Ninja Warrior.
Kasemir, 26, and Arnold, 34, completed an abbreviated, nine-obstacle course in the Midsouth regional qualifier that produced 15 contestants of the 100 that competed in the much larger national finals course in Las Vegas.
The regional competition episode that featured Kasemir and Arnold aired on the G4 network earlier this month, and showed the two making the intimidating course, built over a pool of water, look rather easy.
Kasemir and Arnold finished with the first and third fastest times, respectively, out of the regional contestants.
Kasemir, having competed in the Japanese show twice already, used his knowledge of some of the obstacles to his advantage.
“I was really confident,” he said. “It was looking easy even though a lot of people were failing.”
Arnold, who recently moved to Longmont from Ohio, did not share Kasemir’s peace of mind.
“I got tunnel vision the whole run,” Arnold said. “I don’t remember anything except my hands moving.”
If it seems like a remarkable coincidence that two of the show’s elite competitors live in Longmont — think again.
Kasemir and Arnold have known each other for many months, and are part of a larger group of friends in Colorado that saw a few others advance to this year’s finals of American Ninja Warrior.
“We all go to the parkour gym and train together,” Kasemir said.
Kasemir, who was born in Boulder and attended Niwot High School, became involved in the show a few years ago, after he won some athletic events held by the parkour gym where he trains.Winning the local events is what helped propel him to qualify for the Japanese events he previously competed in.
Arnold enjoys indoor and outdoor rock climbing more than parkour, but jumped at the chance to compete in American Ninja Warrior when he learned of Kasemir’s previous experience on the show.
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