Sometimes, a run isn’t for the Ninja that’s on the course. Michael Torres demonstrated that when he tore through the obstacles on night four of the American Ninja Warrior Qualifiers. For season 12, Michael was leading a group of incredibly special Ninjas.
“My team members are Jimmy Choi and Kyle Shulze. Both are super strong, driven guys. Jimmy Choi, there is no other word to describe him other than a beast. This man pushes people and himself to the absolute limit. He leaves me sore for a week after I do one of his workouts.
Kyle Shulze is another super driven, super passionate Ninja. Someone who doesn’t let deafness stop him. He is one of the most charismatic and friendly guys that I know.”
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Tomorrow!! 8pm central time on NBC! Catch me and my team hit the @ninjawarrior course! @thedeafninja and @jcfoxninja are both veterans of American ninja warrior and are two tough dudes!! You don't want to miss us hit the course! LETS GO!!!!! . . . . . #AmericanNinjaWarrior #ninjawarrior #qualifier #dontmissit #dontblink #LETSGO #team #friends #bestteam #thebestteam #ninja #course #finally @anwnation
When both Jimmy and Kyle suffered heart-breaking runs and did not make the top 12, Michael had a mission. He had to get to the Power Tower for a chance to bring his team back into the game.
“Jimmy... It was just a freak accident. He missed the rope on the first obstacle and ended up going down into the water. That’s not the Jimmy I know. That’s a freak accident. Something that no one can control. I know if he gets a second chance that he’ll prove that was a mistake. Kyle, another little fumble, but on obstacle five this time. He just jammed up his finger on the ledge there and ended up going down too.”
Michael shot through the course, executing every obstacle with precision. When he skipped the Mega Wall and bolted for the buzzer, he earned the top time of the night, securing a trip to the Power Tower.
“To have a chance to bring back Jimmy and Kyle, it’s lighting a fire under me. I felt it as soon as I hit the top of the Warped Wall. I was blazing inside, adrenaline through the roof. I’m super excited to have the chance to give my teammates a second chance so they can really show what they’re made of.”
But that wasn’t going to be easy. His opponent in the final race was Joe Moravsky, not a Ninja who goes down without a fight.
“I am beyond excited to run against Joe Moravsky. In the Minneapolis City Finals, he actually beat me and knocked me off the bubble. I didn’t actually make it to Vegas that year. It’s going to be awesome to have a chance to go against Joe. This guy is fast. He’s strong. He’s consistent. There’s going to have to be no mistakes made if I want any chance of beating Joe.”
It was a bittersweet Power Tower battle. The action was intense. Joe and Michael pushed each other to the absolute limits. Both wanted to save their teams. We cheered for both of them. Michael, who was behind at the start, closed the gap and took a leap of faith from the falling shelves in a last-ditch attempt to beat Joe. It didn’t pay off and he tumbled to the mat.
Michael is absolutely returning for the Semi-Finals. But Jimmy and Kyle won’t get the second chance Michael so badly wanted to give to them. We don’t doubt Michael will be driven far into the season by this start.