Artis Thompson III is not your typical ninja.
He lost his older brother, whom he considered a father-figure, in a motorcycle accident about 3 years ago. Shortly after, Thompson’s leg was amputated after a separate road accident.
Still, he continues to fight and succeed.
Thompson, who goes by “ATIII,” made an appearance on in the Oklahoma City Qualifier of “American Ninja Warrior” on June 20, which marks his second season on the show.
Competitors tackle a series of challenging obstacle courses in city and regional competitions across the country. Winners compete in the national finals in Las Vegas, where they face a stunning four-stage course modeled after the famed Mt. Midoriyama course in Japan for a grand prize of $1,000,000, according to the official website.
Thompson wears a prosthetic leg, which made the course by no means easy, but he gave it all he had.
He didn’t make it through the whole course, but his effort left a tremendous impact on viewers.
“The response from my run is completely unbelievable,” Thompson wrote on his Facebook page on June 22.
“I want to thank everyone that liked, shared or even viewed the run…the most rewarding thing for me is to know that I’m motivating more people than I even thought possible…I thank everyone for the words of encouragement and I thank god for blessing me to have a platform to change the lives of people I will probably never meet…thank you and I hope you all are abundantly blessed!!!”
One of the announcers asked viewers during Thompson’s remarkable run, “What’s your excuse?”
See the video below:
Thompson said he enjoyed all the obstacles in the second season of American Ninja Warrior, but wishes he had finished the course.
He said if his brother were here he would’ve told him “good job.”
“However, he would have pointed to the slip on the last tire,” Thompson said. “I’m hard on myself and hold myself to a high standard because he always pushed me to do better and better. He would’ve been proud that I gave it my all.”
The crowd’s energy was what helped him get so far in the course, he said.
“As the crowd cheered it felt real. Normally I block out spectators, however the energy I felt from the crowd was unlike anything I’ve ever felt. The crowd’s emotion and the thought of my kids watching me push forward is what kept me going,” he said.
Thompson, who hopes to open up a fitness and sorts training facility, said his advice to young athletes is “to never limit yourself or let someone else dictate how far you can go. Work hard and be dedicated to your goals.”
He will definitely be returning for the third season on American Ninja. “I don’t like failure and I refuse to give up until I’m successful,” he said.
See below for the first contestant to get to stage 3 in American Ninja Warrior, Isaac Caldiero.
And here is an amazing round from the first female, Kacy Catanzaro, to complete the course.