The wait has been long, but Karsten Williams stayed the course. The Silk Slider, the Propeller Bar, the Jumping Spider, the Domino Pipes, and the Double Dipper – these five obstacles are etched in Karsten’s memory forever. They are the obstacles that have gotten the best of him during Stage One of the National Finals each of the last five years. This year, there isn’t a new obstacle to add to the list. Karsten cleared every single one of those Stage One obstacles, just like he knew he could!
Before hitting the Vegas National Finals course, Karsten took a minute to reminisce with us about his flawless City Finals run in Oklahoma City, his gratitude for Ninja Warrior and the National Finals experience, and the confidence he feels, despite never hitting a Stage One buzzer.
“I really had a blast at City Finals. It was really good to finish the course. It was definitely a challenging course and very tricky, but I was feeling good. And we went out there and got it done, almost close enough to get on the Power Tower.”
Being in Vegas for the National Finals – Karsten doesn’t take it for granted:
“Being here six times in a row now, it feels pretty good. I’m consistently getting here… it’s not a guarantee… Every season’s different, so I really always reflect back, and I appreciate what it takes to get to this point. I’m super thankful for the opportunity to compete another season, and also to get here another season.”
Stage One of the National Finals – a Stage One buzzer had eluded him for so long, but Karsten was confident anyway:
“Stage One has got my number. But this year, I’m going to have its number. I’ve fallen on almost every different part of the course on Stage One, but coming in to this season, I’m feeling pretty confident, pretty comfortable, and at ease, same way I felt going into Oklahoma City.”
“I expect the courses to be tricky, but very doable. I think that everybody here (at the National Finals) is more than capable of completing at least Stage One, and I feel pretty good about it. But it’s one of those things that, you’ve got to be on point in any given situation, and I plan on being ready for that occasion.”
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National Finals Stage 1 In a few days I’ll be making my 6th appearance on this stage and I’m definitely grateful for that. I’ve also failed my last 5 attempts and that definitely affected me quite a bit mentally and emotionally. You start doubting yourself and why you keep coming back failure after failure. Then I had to reflect back on my “why.” I had to remember that this is bigger than me and that I have an opportunity to motivate and inspire others that are in the process of overcoming their own battles. ___ I came into this season with a renewed mind, body, and spirit. I have an even bigger team of supporters that are riding with me to the finish line and I’m forever thankful. This course has chewed me up and spit me out the last 5 years, but now I’m hungry and it’s time to eat. ___ #TeamKarsten #BigKat #overcomeALLobstacles #ANW11 #AmericanNinjaWarrior #NinjaNation #TruMomentum #LasVegas #Finals #FaithOverFear
As for what Karsten expected out of himself in Vegas:
“I expect pure mayhem. I mean that in a cool way, as in, I want to go out there very energetic, very excited, with a mission in mind, which is completing Stage One and beyond. I feel like I’m ready to take down every stage. I feel strong. I feel good. I just feel ready.”
Well… we’d say that Karsten, along with 27 of his Ninja buddies, definitely created mayhem out in Vegas! Twenty-eight Ninjas hit the buzzer during Stage One of the National Finals. Will we see more mayhem on Stage Two?
Find out this Monday, September 9th at 8/7c on NBC.