Artis Thompson III: One-Legged Contestant On ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Has The Most-Inspiring Run On Episode [Video]

Artis Thompson III participated in the Oklahoma City Qualifier for the 2016 season of American Ninja Warrior. The fact Thompson ran the qualifier gauntlet with a prosthetic leg was enough for his run to be the most inspiring during the episode.

For those who do not know what American Ninja Warrior is (despite the fact it has already been on American television for eight seasons already), it is a sports entertainment competition. It is also a spin-off of the original series on Japanese television known as Sasuke. During the competition, contestants try to complete numerous obstacle courses for a chance to climb the final obstacle course known as Mount Midoriyama, a 75-foot rope climb that must be completed in 30 seconds. Given the difficulty of the show, it is very rare for anyone to actually complete it, though two people did back in the last season. Isaac Caldiero, however, finished the last obstacle in the shortest time so he left with the cash prize.

And when someone says the courses in American Ninja Warrior are tough, they mean it. For starters, almost all the obstacles in each course require an ample amount of balance, strength, and endurance in which contestants have to keep their footing on movable platforms (log run, jumping stairs, etc.) or hang from high heights (wall climbs, spider crawls, etc.). The fact that anyone would even attempt such a course with a prosthetic leg just makes it even tougher. However, that is what Artis Thompson III did.

According to Huffington Post, Artis Thompson III, who goes by the nickname AT3, lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident. It was replaced with a prosthetic. What also makes Thompson’s accident much more debilitating is the fact his brother was killed in the same kind of accident three years before his own. Yet, Thompson was able to move forward from both traumatic situations participating in American Ninja Warrior first in 2015. Back then, Artis Thompson III fell during the third obstacle. This time, he made it to the fourth.

Artis Thompson III isn’t the only contestant missing a leg to compete this year. At an earlier qualifier, Zach Gowan attempted to finish the qualifier in Indianapolis. The former WWE Superstar who took on monsters like the Big Show and Brock Lesnar had a more formidable opponent in the form of the American Ninja Warrior obstacle course. Just like he did during his stint in the WWE, Gown competed without the aid of his prosthetic leg. Unfortunately, Zach Gowan’s light weight and limited ability to swing caused him to fail in the third obstacle.

Artis Thompson III’s run, however, was far more inspirational and motivational because he had an obstacle considered to be extremely difficult for anyone with two legs, the log run. During that obstacle, Thompson was almost eliminated but using his body, he was able to “Football Sprint” past it. After being eliminated by a botched landing that made him fall backwards into the water, he received a standing ovation for his run. Not only that, he earned the “Run of the Night.”

American Ninja Warrior airs on Mondays at 9/8 p.m. ET/CT on NBC. Encore episodes air on Esquire. And for those who want a bit of a throwback that utilizes the concept American Ninja Warrior uses, check out Takeshi’s Castle which was later brought over the U.S. as the comedic MXC: Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. There is also the show Wipeout which is also very similar to Takeshi’s Castle and MXC: Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. Finally, the original Ninja Warrior, originally known as Sasuke, is worth looking up too.

[Image via Screen Capture of American Ninja Warrior]