Rochester Institute of Technology student Jonathan Alexis is a finalist—selected out of 70,000 people—for American Ninja Warrior, an NBC show on which contestants compete for $1 million, officials said Monday.
Alexis is an electrical engineering student at RIT.
Only 15 competitors will compete in Las Vegas in September. The competition is broken into four stages of rigorous timed challenges.
“It’s a rush,” Alexis said in statement. “On the course, it’s adrenaline. Competitors do not see the course before they compete. They like to keep us removed from this, but we call ourselves ninjas, so we are always peeking.”
Alexis, a native of Waterville, Maine, first participated in the competition with his father two years ago during the show’s seventh season. He will start his fifth year in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering studying robotics, according to RIT.
“For me, I see the ninja competition as similar to a parkour philosophy—being able to move efficiently through the environment or whatever obstacles there are,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be a physical thing either. Some of the obstacles we face in our lives, in different capacities, our ‘ninja ability’ is the ability to endure through them, to overcome them.”
The finals of American Ninja Warrior will air on Mondays at 8 p.m. starting Sept. 4 on NBC.