'Navajo Ninja' inspires Native American community on 'American Ninja Warrior'

George Back
Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Brandon Todacheenie, aka “the Navajo Ninja,” considers it a great honor to represent Native Americans on the national stage in American Ninja Warrior. He traveled from the Navajo reservation of Shiprock, N.M., where he lives to compete in the Denver City Finals.

Todacheenie gets his inspiration from his grandfather, who was Navajo code talker in World War II. Todacheenie said, “Being able to use the Navajo language to help win the war was the greatest thing that my family could be a part of. I feel like I have a responsibility to live that legacy too.”

Todacheenie hopes that his neighbors will be inspired to live healthier lives when they see him compete. He said, “Seeing the Navajo Nation people go through day-to-day lifestyle of obesity and diabetes — it’s really heartbreaking for me. By competing on American Ninja Warrior, I want to inspire my people to live healthy lifestyles, to go out and do something with their life.”

Todacheenie managed to get through the first few obstacles, but unfortunately, he was unable to make it up the Warped Wall. As a result, he is not moving on to the Las Vegas finals. But we look forward to seeing him compete again next year.

American Ninja Warrior airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on NBC. Watch clips and full episodes of American Ninja Warrior free on Yahoo View.

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