Things couldn’t have gone any better for Daniel Gil during the Oklahoma City Qualifier that aired last night on NBC.
Mega Wall and $10,000 -- check.
Fastest time of the night – check.
Speed Pass – check.
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Last night’s OKC Qualifiers couldn’t have gone better! This season is off to an incredible start hitting my goals! Personally I feel stronger and more confident in my abilities then ever before - a feat 4 years in the making. While standing atop the Mega Wall I felt a huge wave of gratitude hit me - it’s an incredible feeling to accomplish a goal (finishing a course with a great time) but knowing that I have so many behind me supporting me and cheering me on means the world to me and I couldn’t be more grateful. Thank you guys for your support and for believing in me. More than anything, please be praying that this season I do not only what I’m capable of doing, but what I feel called to do. Love you guys #RealMVPs #kingdomninja
In an interview before he ran the course, Daniel revealed his high expectations. “My expectations are very high. I’m taking it with a grain of salt. It is a very humbling sport. Anything can happen anywhere. But as far as my personal expectations go, I’m hitting several buzzers here in OKC, and then moving on to hit several more buzzers, four to be exact, in Vegas finals.”
Daniel’s well on his way to fulfilling those expectations, and his track record over the last four seasons of American Ninja Warrior proves that he is fully capable. He has reached Stage 2 in each of the past 4 seasons, after first coming onto the scene in Season 7. He set the bar high in Season 8, making it to Stage 3 in Vegas after being the only ninja to hit the buzzer in both the qualifying and final courses in Oklahoma City.
While Daniel appreciates the success he has had, he is ready to step up his game. “Season 10 was awesome. Arguably, it was my best season as far as Qualifiers go. I had the fastest time in the Dallas Qualifiers and City Finals. I was the first one on the televised season to make it up the Mega Wall. Vegas Stage One felt awesome, but Vegas Stage Two... That one has got me the last two years in row. Particularly, the Deja Vu. That was the obstacle that took out so many of my friends and fellow competitors. Going in, I felt good. I had a plan. But in the heat of the moment, I lost focus for one second, and the next thing I knew I was in the water. I hope they do bring it back this year because I’m ready to take it down.”
Daniel has a plan for redemption, and he puts in the work – both physically and mentally. “I do a lot of processing beforehand. So before I ever touch an obstacle, I’ve already done it about 50 times in my head... Going into this year, if I happen to come across Deja Vu again, I will stay 100% from start till finish and then focus on the next obstacle.”
Daniel has come a long way in 4 short years. “I remember it wasn’t too long ago that I was the young, new guy on the scene! Now I feel like an old veteran.” Veteran is a descriptor we can get behind – Daniel has accomplished a crazy amount! But, old? That’s the last word we’d use to describe the 26 year old, as he sprints his way through whatever the Ninja Warrior courses throw at him!
Clearly, Daniel takes competing on American Ninja Warrior seriously. But he also takes the influence the show has given him seriously. “For me, being on the show, as a competitor…has given me a platform to speak hope & to be a role model to so many young people who watch the show. For me, I want my life to have an impact. I want to have kids someday, so I want to be a role model now to the ones that watch the show. I want to be the role model that I want my kids to have someday.”
Daniel also hopes that his success on American Ninja Warrior will teach and remind viewers to “…remember that when you have a dream, and you give your life to that dream, you train for it, you prepare for it, that it is achievable. Even though you will face obstacles, in whatever form they take, you can get back up from them. You can keep striving and pushing forward, and there will be reward for those who don’t give up.”
Daniel, you’re a Ninja on the course, and you’re a Ninja at life.. It’s an honor to watch your journey unfold. Vegas or not, 8 buzzer or nots, we are forever fans!