NBC’s American Ninja Warrior competition will air its Military Finals episode tonight (Monday, August 17) and we’ve got some preview video and background on three of the contestants. While neither of the military athletes we profiled earlier this summer qualified for the finals, there is an impressive array of military talent on display tonight. The show airs at 8pm ET and will repeat on Tuesday night on the Esquire network.
Winners from tonight’s competition will qualify for the show’s finals in Las Vegas.
McKinney is an LTJG in the US Navy and lives in Georgia. He’s 28 and has a 3-year-old son. He’s competed on American Ninja Warrior before.
McKinney was a member of the US Navy All-Navy Wrestling team, competed as a varsity wrestler in college and qualified as an alternate for the US Olympic team. He’s a certified dog therapy handler and has dedicated his run to his best friend “Boo,” who passed away 10 years ago.
Stratis also lives in Georgia and works as a personal trainer. He served in the National Guard and says his time in the military helped him prepare immensely for civilian life and how to approach all types of real life situations.
The 31-year-0ld is also a Ninja warrior return competitor and was a Team USA member for ANW 6 USA vs World and the Sasuke Asian Cup in Malaysia 2014. Stratis calls himself a nerd/athlete hybrid. He could be playing video games and doing commentary one day then working out and training the next.
Durand served in the US Navy for 24 years and was a JAG officer. The 42-year-old currently lives in Washington, has a post-doctorate degree in tax law and works as a technology entrepreneur.
While Durand was serving in Iraq, a close friend was shot in the head by a sniper while standing next to him.
He’s finished 5 Ironman triathlons, 10 ultramarathons and 29 marathons. After qualifying for the Ironman World Championships, was struck by a car and broke his back, but recovered enough to compete. This is Kyle’s first year competing on American Ninja Warrior.
Do you know any of the other military finalists? Have you been following the competition? Let us know in the comments below.!