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Athletes used strength and strategy to survive this week’s Titan Games

When the challenges are evenly matched, someone is going to have to plan their way to the win.

Vivian Zink/NBC

The fourth episode of The Titan Games introduced eight more extremely well-prepared athletes. The two that became Titans and will advance to the next round got there using strategy over brawn. In Herculean Pull, Christiana was outweighed by her opponent, so she poured on the speed to avoid locking into a tug of war she might not have been able to win. Derik thought through both the Cyclone and Mount Olympus, doling out his energy in controlled portions that kept him moving forward.

Reigning Titans

Derik Scott: A lawyer who prides himself on being a well-rounded athlete. It showed in both his challenges where he balanced strength and strategy to come out on top.

Christiana Rugloski: After not being allowed to take part in athletics while growing up, Christiana is making up for lost time. She managed a resounding lead on Herculean Pull and stayed calm when the game was close on Mount Olympus.

Can’t miss moments

Lunar Impact

It might have looked like Chris Ruden was at a disadvantage on Lunar Eclipse against Jack Kwan. Chris was born with a shorter left arm with only two fingers. He chose to take on the challenge without his glove. Jack literally leapt up the ladder which allowed him to swing the wall into Chris almost the instant he pulled himself on to the platform. While it was a quick match, it didn’t lack in inspiration. “Limitations are self-imposed,” Chris shared with all the viewers.

Vivian Zink/NBC

Mount Olympus

Christiana Rugloski was already sliding her way back down to the stadium floor as Nichole Root started the Torch Crank. It looked like Christiana would be uncontested for the title of Titan until Nichole found a new gear. Nichole clutched the ball and chain and marched it to the tomb, bringing the match to a tie. In the end, both ran with their relics towards Dwayne. Christiana took the win with Nichole just steps behind her.

Full recap

A description of these challenges is available at the bottom of this article.

Challenge one: Cyclone

The competitors:

  • Derik Scott: A lawyer with wrestling, diving, karate, and gymnastics experience. Recently had his first professional MMA fight.
  • Kwame Sarfo: A business analyst who visits the gym 14 times a week. Became famous on Instagram for his pushups, even taking his skills to the Ellen show.

Winner: Derik Scott

Challenge two: Herculean Pull

The competitors:

  • Christiana Rugloski: 21-year-old who grew up in a conservative home and wasn’t allowed to play sports. She left home at 19 and is now an obstacle course champion.
  • Melody Schofield: 30-year-old recovering alcoholic and certified recovery specialist. She trains 4 hours a day, 5 days a week and is called “The Pebble” for her resemblance to The Rock.

Winner: Christiana Rugloski

Challenge Three: Cyclone

The competitors:

  • Emily Hu: 36-year-old competitive power lifter and bio engineer. She started her athletic career from scratch at age 30 and earned three world records.
  • Nichole Root: 39-year-old preschool teacher, obstacle course competitor, and mother of two daughters. One of the shortest women in The Titan Games at 5 feet tall.

Winner: Nichole Root

Challenge Four: Lunar Impact

The competitors:

  • Chris Ruden: A power lifter born with two fingers on his left hand and a shorter left arm. It has only been less than a year since he first let the world see his hand without a glove.
  • Jack Kwan: 20-year-old kinesiology major and youngest competitor here with experience in gymnastics, parkour, and body building

Winner: Jack Kwan

Mount Olympus

Derik Scott vs Jack Kwan

When Jack attacked the course without strategy, Derik was able to secure himself a lead. Jack attempted a late-game comeback but had expended too much energy to out-pace Derik.

Titan: Derik Scott

On why he wanted to be a Titan

“It literally feels sometimes like it was made for me. These types of competitions are what I’ve been doing my whole life. Hey, let’s do this obstacle course. Let’s do this feat of strength. It’s really feeding my soul to be here and compete.”

Christiana Rugloski vs Nichole Root

Christiana opened a large lead after clearing the Torch Crank first. Nichole reached the stadium floor behind her and managed to close that gap immensely. It was almost anyone’s game when Christina locked her relic in place first.

Titan: Christiana Rugloski

On pulling out a tight win:

“I was getting a little tired out. I knew (the ball and chain) was going to be really heavy, so I was not looking forward to that. Halfway through it, (Nichole) came along and just picked it up and walked with it. We both started hammering at the same time, but I was ahead of her and there was no way I was going to let her catch me at the last minute.”

Next episode: Thursday, January 31 at 8pm