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Daniel Gil was not able to take part in the National Finals

Jody Avila participated in the National Finals as an alternate.

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Elizabeth Morris/NBC

We have a feeling we’re going to get this question a lot, so we thought we’d just address it directly.

Daniel Gil did not participate in the American Ninja Warrior season 13 National Finals because he tested positive for COVID-19 prior to traveling to Las Vegas.

That is a huge, huge bummer. Luckily, Daniel is just fine now. And he still has a great season 13 to look back on. In the Qualifiers, he placed seventh overall with a run to the fifth obstacle. In the Semifinals, he was on his stride, completing the course with the fastest time. On the Power Tower, he faced Brian Burkhardt, who won that match.

We know the fans were looking forward to seeing season 12’s winner back at the National Finals. After timing out on the Stage Four rope climb in season 11, there was much speculation that this was Daniel’s year.

During the Semifinals, Jody Avila placed 16th on the same night Daniel competed. That meant that when Daniel Gil couldn’t participate in the National Finals, Jody was given the alternate position. His run ended on the Dipping Birds.

Earlier in the season, we asked Daniel what he wanted to share with the audience this year. His response seems very fitting.

“Take it and use that as inspiration for your own lives. We all face obstacles of various types. Physical, mental, emotional. If we can get on this stage, and learn to overcome even if we fall and fail. Get back up quickly. Use those principles and apply them to your lives.”

Does anyone doubt that Daniel will get up quickly from this setback? Season 14 better watch out!