"Hercules" + 3 Other Incredible Latter-day Saints Who Made It to City Finals on "American Ninja Warrior"

by | Jul. 18, 2017

FunMormon Life

NBC's American Ninja Warrior is a test of skill, strength, and endurance that pushes athletes to their limit. But this year, four Latter-day Saints have competed on the show and made it to the finals in Los Angeles, and they all have some pretty incredible stories of how they ended up on the show. 

Ryan Souter

There's always that sibling that convinces his brothers and sisters to do something crazy, and Ryan Souter just might be that person. 

Ryan Souter made his appearance on American Ninja Warrior a family affair, inviting six of his seven siblings to compete on the show.

Known as "Hercules" to his siblings, Souter made it the farthest of his family and was the only one to advance to the next round. 

Souter placed 21st overall and qualified for the City Finals in Los Angeles.

Matt Reeves

Matt Reeves says in his audition video that "basically, my entire lifestyle is training for American Ninja Warrior."

And that could very well be true, as Reeves has honed his skills for the show rock climbing, mountaineering, ice climbing, mountain unicycling, and biking. 

". . . Not to mention the speed and agility that comes from being the youngest of 11, escaping torment and getting dinner before it was gone," Reeves shares in his audition video. 

Reeves placed 25th overall and qualified for the City Finals. 

Devin Stratton

Technically, Devin Stratton shouldn't have been able to even compete on American Ninja Warrior. After surviving a 150-foot fall off a cliff last January without a scratch, it's a miracle Straton is even alive. 

After misreading part of a skiing trail, Stratton only had time to turn sideways and pray before he went over the edge. 

"I basically just said, 'Please help me,'" Stratton shares in his video.

And Stratton believes there was one special person who helped in his survival as well. A year-and-a-half ago, Stratton's younger sister passed away from brain cancer. 

After falling 150-feet and surviving, Stratton shares, "I'm sure she's part of the reason I'm still alive."

Stratton placed 12th overall and qualified for the City Finals. 

Michael Stanger

Michael Stanger's story gained national attention in 2015 when he first appeared on American Ninja Warrior as a walk on to compete for his terminally ill wife. 

His wife, Enedina Stanger, had been diagnosed with a rare connective tissue disorder that affects most of the body and caused every bone to be dislocated within a year of her diagnosis.  

"The doctors basically told me I would be on hospice; there's nothing else we can do for you," Enedina shares on the show

"I thought Enedina was going to die," Michael adds. 

However, that is not the case today. After turning to an aggressive physical therapy routine and incorporating alternative, natural treatments, Enedina no longer uses her wheelchair and is able to walk on her own again, even work out with Michael. 

Stanger placed 16th overall, earning his spot in the top 30 and making it to the City Finals. 

► You'll also like: "American Ninja Warrior" Praises Michael Stanger and His Family for Their Strength During Adversity

Lead image from Facebook of Ryan Souter
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