"American Ninja Warrior" has a winner, at long last

Written by Maria Sciullo on .


On TV, Geoff Britten seemed OK with what happened at the Las Vegas finals of NBC's "American Ninja Warrior," last night, but still...

At least get the guy something that reads "I conquered Mount Midoriyama and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."

After six seasons of close calls, this was the year for the summer hit show. A cameraman nicknamed "Popeye" for his impressive forearms, Britten became the first competitor to get past all four stages. In the last, he had to climb a 75-foot rope in under 30 seconds, which he did with .35 to spare.

And then Isaac Caldiero (see photo) stepped to the line. Caldiero, a busboy who trains full-time and is an elite rock climber, also sailed through the first three stages of the final course. If Stage 1 was about luck and balance, Stage 3 was custom-made for those with grip strength.

He, too, made his way methodically through to the rope climb, which would decide who got to take home the $1 million prize for the first time in the NBC show history.

Wasn't even close; Caldiero dashed up the rope (if indeed it's possible to dash a rope climb) and hit the buzzer almost three seconds sooner than Britten's time. 

Britten @ninjageoff posted a photo of him atop Mount Midoriyama on Instagram after the show "See that yellow spec? That's me!"

Britten started his historic run at the ANW city course in Pittsburgh last May.


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