A University of Alabama at Birmingham Physical Therapy student did chin ups using just one finger on each hand in his audition tape for the show “American Ninja Warrior.” That along with his other athletic abilities doing back flips landed Toshio Sidney-Ando a spot to audition for the show back in April.
The Mexican-born student has been enthralled with the show since 2007, but never pursued it until a life-changing experience.
“My outlook on life changed last year when my 30-year-old cousin was diagnosed with osteosarcoma,” said Sidney-Ando. “His ongoing battle through surgery and chemotherapy makes me want to live life to the fullest and tackle challenges without fear of failure.”
That’s when he sent in his five-minute long video. Six regional tryouts were held in three cities to find the top 100 competitors to run the “world’s toughest obstacle course” for a chance to win $500,000.
“I was competing against several elite NCAA athletes, an NFL player, a Harlem Globetrotter and numerous professional free-runners,” said Sidney-Ando. “I consider myself a very fit weekend warrior.”
Sidney-Ando may not have been a college athlete, but the 28-year-old did play sports growing up including soccer, Tae Kwon Do, springboard diving, wrestling, and track and field. He has a black belt in Judo, commutes on a bike and leads outdoor rock climbing trips. He’s an avid Latin dancer with 11 years of experience and teaching dance since 2002.
“I’m generally bouncy and hyperactive,” said Sidney-Ando.
While he is contractually bound not to say whether or not he made the show, his regional tryouts will air on Sunday, June 24 at 8 p.m. C.T. on G4 TV which is located in the Birmingham area on Bright House Channel 148, AT&T U-Verse Channel 149 and Charter Channel 65.
Update: Toshio made it to the Southeast Regional Finals and was a featured contestant where he was shown wearing his UAB PT t-shirt. Unfortunately, he was cut after falling during the course. Way to go Toshio!