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The story of Joe Moravsky’s season

We talked to him during every round of the competition.

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

As we travel with the show each season, we have the unique opportunity to speak with the competitors multiple times. We follow along as their success unfolds or comes to an end. By the time the National Finals roll around, we’re sure some of the Ninjas are sick of seeing us!

This gives us the chance to really tell a story over the course of the year. However, if you’re not checking ANW Nation every single day (we’ll forgive you), some of the plot points can get lost.

So today we’re bringing you Joe Moravsky’s season, as told by the quotes he shared with us over the course of three different locations.

Qualifiers and the Mega Wall

Joe started his season off very strong. He completed the Qualifying course with the third-fastest time of the night. Oh yeah, he landed the Mega Wall as well.

During our interview, we asked him what he thought about the year’s teens. How did he feel about running alongside these talented kids?

“I’m not nervous, I’m not scared. I have an edge mentally, physically. I’m more explosive. They may be lighter and can hang longer, I can run faster. I can jump higher, I can push more, I can lift more. As long as it’s not a Stage Three hanging contest, I’m not going to worry about them or anybody else. Because I’ve done plenty of seasons where I’ve done that, and it doesn’t work well for me. Once I start worrying about the Daniel Gil’s or the Josh Levin’s or the Flip Rodriguez’s, it doesn’t become my game anymore. It becomes about hoping they fall.”

We also asked Joe to tell us his expectations for the season. After two previous years as the Last Ninja Standing, Joe sounded confident that all the pieces of the puzzle would come together this time around.

“I feel it. I feel like it’s time. I feel like it’s the decision I had to make. I don’t know how I can explain that better. It’s almost like somebody said, ‘Joe, here’s the opportunity again. But are you going to do it this time?’ And I just feel like that question is out there and I’m answering it with, ‘Yeah. This is the time.’

I can’t explain it. I’ve been training a lot of rope. I got some bruises, and scrapes, and scabs, and training technique, and studying, and even buying special shoes for the rope assuming we have it again. I’m just not worried. I’m not going to be worried if Daniel gets there. I’m not going to be worried if Flip gets there. I’m not going to be worried if Lance gets there, or any of these teens get there. Even though I know they can climb, I’m not worried. I’m just going to go do it. I’m just going to do it.”

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

The Semifinals and the Power Tower

Things were chugging right along during the second round of the competition. Joe completed his Semifinals course with the second-fastest time of the night. That sent him to the Power Tower against his own student, Jay Lewis. During our talk, it was the first time Joe hinted that maybe he was a little worried about the younger Ninjas. At least, he certainly didn’t want them to have any advantages.

“Everyone would love a Safety Pass, but at the end of the day, I’m not doing it to get a Safety Pass, I’m doing it to keep it from going into his hands. That, I think is more dangerous. You give a rookie as good as Jay a Safety Pass on Stage One or Two, the chance of him falling is going to be on Stage One or Two. I feel like he’s going to shine on Stage Three. As much as I love him, I can’t allow him to have a Safety Pass.”

Once again, Joe was steadfast in his predictions for his season, and we had no reason to doubt him.

“I feel like my confidence is one of my biggest strong suits. Out of all the Ninjas here, I’m not the strongest. I might be one of the fastest. What sets me apart? Why am I here? Why am I so good at this? What is the reason? Because I’m not better. What makes me so consistently good every year?

The key is ‘consistently.’ In order to be consistent every year, you can’t just be strong physically. There has to be a mental aspect that I think people are overlooking. Even myself. I think it comes down to believing in myself more than anybody.”

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

The National Finals

This is where the wheels came off, so to speak. Joe ended up using his Safety Pass on Stage One after a nasty bout of food poisoning. Joe rallied for an inspiring re-run that got him to Stage Two. We asked him if he was worried about the lack of a Safety Pass on the next stage.

“I’ve never needed it before. Everything happens for a reason. I’ve been on Stage Two six times and beaten it five. This is my seventh appearance and I’ve only failed once before on Stage Two. I like those odds.”

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Unfortunately, Joe’s Stage Two run ended abruptly on the first obstacle, shocking everyone. But this is just one part of Joe’s story. Just imagine how great the plot will be for season 14 if he becomes the next American Ninja Warrior champion!