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Travis Rosen announced his retirement at the National Finals

Stage One became his last run.

David Becker/NBC

Night one of the American Ninja Warrior National Finals was full of surprises. However, one of them didn’t have anything at all to do with the obstacles on the course.

Nine-time competitor Travis Rosen, considered one of the pillars of the sport, announced his retirement. Season 11 would be his last year. After a fall on the Diving Boards, his Stage One run became his retirement run.

Travis has inspired countless viewers and has had a role in training the next generation of Ninjas. In his time on the show, he’s made it to the Las Vegas National Finals every year they’ve been held (and competed in Japan before the show moved the finals to the US). Travis has made it to Stage Three once and Stage Two four times in regular competition (adding in Sasuke and USA vs The World appearances brings the Stage Two total to eight). The show likes to refer to him as the Ageless Wonder, but he’s been a wonder pretty much through his entire Ninja career.

David Becker/NBC

However we’re sure that, between season 10 and this year, the sport has taken a toll on him and we respect his decision to step back from the limelight.

In season 10, Travis shattered his ankle dismounting from the Double Dipper on Stage One of the National Finals. His return in Atlanta less than a year later was nothing short of miraculous after such a traumatic injury. The fact that he made it to the Qualifying buzzer was a moment chock full of inspiration and redemption.

Before that run, Travis shared that it wasn’t mentally easy to get back on the course.

“I’m getting there, as far as confidence. Whenever you have such a horrendous setback, it can be such a mental obstacle. We do these literal obstacles all the time, but this is definitely a figurative one that I’ve not faced before. To be able to overcome such a bad injury, it’s going to be a big deal.”

In the Atlanta City Finals, Travis made it Up For Grabs, and snagged the 12th spot overall, moving him on to Las Vegas. The close call wasn’t exactly what Travis had in mind.

“To be back here in Vegas, it’s very emotional. Even at the airport in Nashville getting ready to come out here, I was like, ‘Is this really happening?’ Still so many bad memories from a year ago. We’ll be running Stage One ON the anniversary of my injury.

As tough as it is, it’s still really cool. I thought I was faced with forced retirement. Yet, I’m back and I’m doing this again. I’m thankful to be here.”

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‪Life. It’s sometimes sweet. It’s sometimes bitter. And like my City Finals run on #americanninjawarrior, it’s sometimes a perplexing mix...but I trust in God’s PERFECT plans- even when they don’t always make sense to us.‬ ‪Coming back this season was so unexpected. I thought I was done. Crushing my 10th straight qualifier was amazing. Beyond words. Yet, I’m a competitor- and one of the most veteran ninjas there is. The mental picture I had of my City Finals comeback run had me hitting that buzzer- not making a silly mistake on an obstacle I feel I should’ve completed. But let’s have some perspective: at this time last year I COULD NOT WALK and my athletic future was in serious doubt! This is yet another opportunity to help me learn, grow, and trust God more than ever! ‬Getting wet and missing the buzzer was tough, but regardless how much it stung... I STILL MADE IT TO MY 9th STRAIGHT ANW FINALS!! (Something NO American has done!!) Moving on has always been my first priority, so I’m grateful to say...mission accomplished! ✅ ‬ ‪THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! ‬ ‪•‬ ‪•‬ ‪#thecomeback #DoubleDipperHereIcome ‬ ‪@ninjawarrior @anwnation ‬ ‪•‬ ‪•‬ • #atlanta #cityfinals #overcomer #hope #anw #anw11 #ankle #comeback #roadtorecovery #ninja #ninjawarrior #anwnation #vegas #finals #sasuke #midoriyama #GodSizedDreams #inspire #motivate #obstacles #dontquit #faith #thankYouJesus #grace #withGodallthingsarepossible #TR #travisrosen

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Returning to Vegas, Travis realized he would once more face the Double Dipper. It created an incredibly full circle moment out of his year.

“It’s going to be interesting. Especially if I get to the Double Dipper. An obstacle in more ways than one. Literally and figuratively. Everyone feels this fear in life, and I get to work it out in front of millions of people. It’s quite an opportunity. It will be hard. Emotions are definitely running high, but I’m ready to get after it.”

In the end, Travis put the Double Dipper behind him. However, he did fall on the Diving Boards. While we wish his last season had seen him through to Stage Four, he accomplished so much this year alone.

We’ll miss him. The sport has gained so much from him. Travis Rosen will always be referred to as one of the top competitors.