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Reflecting on season 11: Episode #2 – Tyler Gillett in the Atlanta City Qualifiers

Tyler hit 4 buzzers this season!

David Becker/NBC

With Drew Drechsel, Ryan Stratis, Jessica Clayton, RJ Roman, Travis Rosen and so many other top Ninjas in the mix at the Atlanta City Qualifiers, we knew from the start that we were in for a treat. So many amazing Ninjas were chasing their dreams through hard work, focus, grit, and nerves of steel. Today, we’ll focus on the Dream Chaser himself, Tyler Gillett.

As Tyler reflected on his 3rd season on American Ninja Warrior, he posted this on Instagram:

“The dream is the top. The dream is total victory.”

Tyler’s first run of the season in Atlanta definitely gave us the vibe that he was chasing that dream. He ran confidently, efficiently, and quickly – so quickly that he earned the second-fastest time of the night and a spot in the Power Tower against Drew Drechsel. In Tyler’s own words, Drew forced him to “go big or go home.” Drew ended up victorious on the Power Tower, but both Ninjas were stoked about their Atlanta City Qualifiers experience.

Of course, hitting a City Qualifier buzzer is nothing new for Tyler. So far, he has completed every ANW City Qualifier course he’s attempted, starting with his rookie year is season 9.

The City Finals course was where Tyler believed he had unfinished business. His results in the City Finals courses had been pretty stellar up to this point (getting to the ninth obstacle and qualifying for Vegas both years), but Tyler wanted that buzzer. And it would be extra special to achieve it in front of his hometown crowd in Atlanta… He did it! Tyler chased his dreams, and he hit that City Finals buzzer in front of all his family and friends!

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A city finals buzzer. A goal of mine for a while now, as with any buzzer. But this one was different. When I heard that My qualifier was gonna be in my hometown of Atlanta, I was ecstatic. I was so excited to be able to compete so close to home, and have my family and friends come watch me compete who never could before. This qualifier and city finals meant so much more to me this year. Pressure? Sure. There always is. But, this is my home. I’ve got support coming in from all directions. And I had to represent. I went in this year feeling better than ever, but still focused. And after a long, emotional run, I hit my first buzzer on a city finals course. A city finals buzzer is great by itself. A feat I have been striving for. But to do so right where it’s all started for me nine years ago in my backyard, and in front of my family, friends, and loved ones was unreal. In that moment I was able to prove to them that their time and effort in supporting me wasn’t a waste. I’m still trying to prove that. Even for myself. Strive to be better. But this was a huge step for me. One that is still hard to process. It still feels like a dream. I am still overcome with emotions. Just like I was on top of that tower, where all I could think do do was shout “I love you guys!”, to all those people who came out to support me. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. So thank you. Thank you so much, to everyone who has supported me. ❤️ And here’s to another trip to the National Finals. ————————————————————————— #thankyou #anw #anw11 #cityfinals #americanninjawarrior #grateful #buzzer #goal #atlanta #surreal #blessed #workhard #trainhard #playhard #dream #dreamchaser #nevergiveup #obstacles #love #support #finals #letsgo #emotional

A post shared by Tyler Gillett (@tylercgillett) on

On to Vegas, another familiar endeavor for Tyler. For the past two years, he had hit the Stage 1 buzzer, but failed on Stage 2. Would this year be the same? Well, it started the same. Tyler added another Stage 1 buzzer to his list of accomplishments.

With 3 buzzers under his belt, in this season alone, Tyler was hungry for another difficult buzzer – one that he had never touched before, one that only an elite group of Ninjas could claim victory over. Stage 2 had only been beaten 25 times in the entire show’s history.

Tyler and all of his Ninja buddies were hungry though, and prepared to chase their dreams. As Tyler stepped to the starting blocks, he likely had the third obstacle on his mind. (The third obstacle took him out on seasons 9 and 10.) His past didn’t haunt him though, he defeated the Stage 2 course, bringing his season 11 buzzer count to 4.

And then it was time for Stage 3, the stage only two Ninjas had ever conquered. During Stage 3, Tyler looked strong all the way to Cane Lane, but that’s where his run ended. Here’s Tyler’s thoughtful perspective on Stage 3 and beyond.

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Another season of ANW, and another chance at Total Voctory slipped through my fingertips. First things first. A huge congratulations to @reallifeninja for making it happen. Total Victory. With another season down, my mind is full of so many thoughts, things I’ve learned, and so may grateful experiences. - Stage 3: I was honored and humbled by the chance to take on what was the upper body gauntlet of stage 3. Something I had been dreaming of for years. Before running, I felt good. I was excited. I was nervous. All natural things. Things I have learned how to control and focus. All was good. One obstacle at a time. Before I knew it, I was staring down cane lane. Two obstacles from a clear. I was starting to feel the pump. But I still felt like I had enough in the tank to possibly finish it. I grab the cane cane. Attempt the first hop over the block. Next thing I knew I was in the water. Season over. It was a bummer, but I tried to move on pretty quickly. But as time went on, it slowly started to set in. It became harder to accept. The emotions came. I took my time to be upset about it. Then brushed it off and kept going. Using that feeling, to motivate me to keep training. - It was an amazing season. I am at the point where I am happy with the results. I tried my best in the moment and it got me farther than ever before. And I could not have made it this far without everyone who has supported me. My family, my friends, my training partners, and everyone cheering me on wether that be through social media or on the sidelines of the course. So thank you. Thank you for making it the best season yet. ❤️ - If you have any other questions about my season or ninja warrior, please ask! I love answering your questions and helping out how I can! ——————————————————————— #anw11 #fall #stage3 #finale #americanninjawarrior #emotion #acceptance #motivation #dreambig #nevergiveup #dreamchaser #thankyou #grateful

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Congratulations on an amazing season, Tyler!