Tonight are the Los Angeles City Finals of American Ninja Warrior, and Flip Rodriguez will be competing in the hopes of becoming the show’s next winner.
Read on to learn more about Flip.
1. He Revealed That He Was Sexually Abused From Ages 9 to 15 Last Season
At the end of season 8, Flip revealed why he’d worn his iconic mask for so long– he was sexually abused for a number of years.
In an interview with TooFab recently, Rodriguez said, “Growing up, one of the hardest things to talk about is sexual abuse and that’s something I went through as a young kid by my father of all people…”
Rodriguez shared that the mask he wore would hide his emotions while he was running the obstacle course– this, according to TooFab, “symbolized how he hid his pain through his smile when he was younger.”
During his interview Rodriguez also shared:
“I am so blessed to be on this platform to inspire the youth. A lot of people reached out to me to say that it was inspiring to see someone in my light talk about sexual abuse and it gave them the courage to be able to talk about it too… I’ve had a few families reach out to tell me that their kids opened up to them after I shared my experience and now their abusers are going to jail for a very long time.”
2. He Was 21 When He First Competed on the Show
Flip first competed on ANW when he was 21.
In an interview with Find Your Scene in 2016, Iseman said, “When he first came on, he was 21 years old and we’ve seen him grow up as an athlete, grow up as a competitor, now grow up as a man (and) reveal something so personal to help others who are going through what he’s gone through… You see the power of this show to change not just on the course but off the course.”
3. He’s Decided to Take off His Mask for Good
Now that Flip has opened up about his past, he’s decided to take off his mask for good. He tells TooFab:
I took off the mask as a symbol of embracing who I am because I’m proud of who I’ve become. I wouldn’t take what happened to me back because it made me who I am. I don’t have to hide behind the mask anymore and other people shouldn’t have to hide either. I’m going to have fun this season and hope for the best.
4. He Worked on the Transformers Movie
Flip worked on the Transformers movie as the stunt double for Santiago Cabrera.
According to his IMDB page, Flip has worked as a stunt double on 16 projects, including Smartass, Mr. Mercedes, Baywatch, Transformers: The Last Knight, Star Trek Beyond, and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, among others.
5. He’s A Freerunner
When he isn’t busy training for the show, Flip is a freerunner, and was a member of the Miami Freerunning team– he also became an instructor at their academy.
Flip has completed the ANW course with consistently impressive times on nearly every season of the show. In ANW Season 4, he achieved the fastest time in the qualifying round, catching the fastest times in all six seasons.
Season 6 was a low-point for Flip– he failed the Jump Hang in Miami accidentally after losing footing on the net. According to ANW’s Wikipedia page, he nearly considered quitting because of this loss– it’s the only time to date Flip has failed a Qualifying Course.