This article was published prior to Drew Drechsel’s arrest. NBC and American Ninja Warrior have since cut ties with him.
Mathis Owhadi was a part of the American Ninja Warrior family before he ever set foot on the main stage. He first made an appearance on the sidelines cheering on James McGrath at the Atlanta City Finals in 2016. Mathis first competed as a member of the Houston Cougars in Team Ninja Warrior: College Madness (also in 2016).
In 2018, he competed in American Ninja Warrior: Ninja Vs. Ninja as a member of Team Iron Grip with Daniel Gil and Tiana Webberley. Team Iron Grip did very well, making it all the way to the Finals before losing to Team Ronin (Flip Rodriguez, Meagan Martin, and JJ Woods).
At the time, athletes had to be at least 21 years old to compete on American Ninja Warrior. Mathis thought he’d have to wait until season 12—and then he got the call. The age limit had been lowered to 19. It was time for the big show.
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I got the call! ☎️ ☎️ ☎️ American Ninja Warrior Season 10 Lets do this! 6 years ago when I started this journey and thought I would have to wait till I turned 21 to be able to compete on @ninjawarrior However, they drop the age limit so season 10 here I come! I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long now that it is still unreal to me to have opportunity to live my dream. There are so many people I am thankful for. People who trained me, motivated me, and pushed me beyond my limits. I don’t want to list them out of fear of missing anyone anyone. If you are one of those people. Thank You! I hope I’ll make you proud.
By the time Mathis competed in season 10 of American Ninja Warrior, he had plenty of experience dealing with Ninja obstacles. He was only 19 in his rookie season and cruised through the Dallas City Qualifier with the 4th fastest time, despite attempting to scale the Mega Wall before topping out the regular Warped Wall. The Kid blazed through the City Finals and Stage One of Las Vegas before his season ended on Wingnut Alley in Stage Two.
After Stage Two, Mathis told American Ninja Warrior Nation: “I’m super happy. I knew I could have gone down on the Qualifiers or City Finals. I could have gone out on Stage One. But I’m still a little bummed out. I knew that I could have finished. I wasn’t pumped. If my hands would have gotten on to it, I would have got it. It wasn’t a matter of grip failure. I just didn’t throw hard enough. I was tired, but I could have taken more rests. There’s just things I could have done to finish the course. But overall, I’m super happy with how I did. I just feel like I could have done better. But I feel like anybody who doesn’t beat all six stages isn’t going to feel satisfied.”
Mathis quickly became a fan—and Ninja—favorite, looking up to Daniel Gil and Drew Drechsel as mentors.
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Wouldn’t be where I am today without these guys and more ❤️ I wanna thank everyone for all of the love and support I’ve been getting lately! You guys are awesome . #Repost @ninjawarrior with @get_repost ・・・ Who has a cheering section with so many #AmericanNinjaWarrior legends? ➡️ Swipe to see!
In his second season, the Kid (who was still a student at the University of Houston at the time) topped his incredible rookie season, failing on the Ultimate Cliffhanger in Stage Three.
But first, he beat friend and training partner Daniel Gil in a showdown on the Power Tower. Mathis earned a Safety Pass for winning, which he used in Stage Two after falling on Grim Sweeper.
It’s King vs. Kid in the ULTIMATE Power Tower match-up. pic.twitter.com/pLaXM5nxe5— Ninja Warrior (@ninjawarrior) July 30, 2019
It doesn’t get much better than Stage Two in your first season and Stage Three in your second. The Kid has been fairly quiet on social media since season 11 ended, but has popped into his Instagram stories to share how he worked with The Anxiety Guy on his performance anxiety on the course, to say hi to his fans, and to share his offseason adventures.
One thing we know for sure is that we can’t wait to see if Mathis can top his performance last year and give Ninjas like Daniel and Drew a run for their money!