Celebrity Q&A, Featured ArticleBy Paulette Cohn on June 12, 2012
Did Olympic gold medalist Jonny Mosley try out the obstacle course for American Ninja Warrior in addition to hosting the show?
—Dale Edison, Lincoln, Neb.
Mosley, 36, who won his gold medal in men’s moguls as a member of the U.S. Ski Team at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, has never tried out Mount Midoriyama in Japan, but he has tried several of the qualifying courses here in the States.
“I haven’t run them completely through,” he says. “They are hard. I have succeeded on some. The one thing I definitely have not done is completed the course. That is a different story. Like, I can do the salmon ladder the first time, but after doing eight obstacles before the salmon ladder, it is a different story. Your arms start to seize.”
No American has ever reached total victory in the competition. The furthest an American has gone is the end of the third stage of Mount Midoriyama. Even so, only three Japanese—two fishermen and a shoe salesman—have reached total victory.
“There are always the guys who train well, who are really talented, and then they choke when the time comes,” the San Juan, Puerto Rico-born athlete says. “So you have to have the skill and agility, but also what it takes to win the Olympics, which is a mental toughness and the ability to perform even better or as well when the pressure is on.”
Mosley predicts that if an American eventually does win, it could very well be a Parkour guy. “They are figuring out how to train for it,” he says, explaining that it “is different than what I did at the Olympics, which was executing what I already knew how to do, no one has ever been to stage four, so they are touching on things they don’t know about.”