Tonight, American Ninja Warrior will continue with the Daytona Beach City Finals, where Drew Drechsel will compete to become the next winner. Drew has made a life out of ANW, and simply states, “It’s my lifestyle. This is what I do.”
Read on to learn more about competitor Drew Drechsel.
1. He Is a Gym Owner
Drew, 28, is the program director at New Era Gym in Hamden, Connecticut. He paired up with friend Tom Alberti in April 2015 to create the gym. Speaking to American Ninja Warrior Nation about opening up his own gym, Drew says, “Most people thought I was out of my mind…. I had another employee who competed on seasons two and three of American Ninja Warrior. Myself, I was a ninja in the park in the 70s.”
Drew came into this season of American Ninja Warrior absolutely prepared to become the next American Ninja Warrior. Drew has fallen twice on the Hang Climb on Stage 3 of the National Finals, and tells ANW Nation, “I know why I fell and what I need to work on. For me it’s staying focused and calm under that super intense pressure on an obstacle that you’re not comfortable with. So as long as you can stay calm under that intense pressure when you’re uncomfortable then there should be no reason. You do what you’ve trained to do.”
2. He Competed on SASUKE
Drechsel made it to Sasuke 27 while trying out for American Ninja Warrior 3.
While competing in Japan, he made it successfully through the first half of Stage 1. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury on the Half-Pipe Attack and tore his ACL and MCL. When he attempted the Soritatsu Kabe, he couldn’t put pressure on his leg and was forced to withdraw from the competition.
In Sasuke 31, Drew finished Stage 1 with the second fastest time; the following season, he competed in Sasuke 32, where he fell on the Soritatsu Kabe in the First Stage. On stage 3, Drew succesfully completed the first three obstacles before losing his grip on the Vertical Limit Kai.
According to the Sasuke website, Drew will compete on Sasuke 34 along with Jessie Graff.
3. He Finished the Qualifying Course of ANW 8 with the Fastest Time
On last season of American Ninja Warrior, Drew finished the Qualifying Course with the fastest time of the night. In the city finals course, he finished with the 2nd fastest time.
He made it to Stage Three of the National Finals, but because of a mistake on the Hang Climb, he could not take on Mt. Midoriyama.
4. He Believes Preparation Is the Most Important Factor
Speaking to American Ninja Warrior in June 2016, Drew explained his thoughts on ninjas coming into the ANW environment. “… to sum it up as easy as I can for any new Ninja is, try to get all of your thinking about the course done before you’re on the course. You don’t want to go out there without a game plan. You need some preparation.”
He says that thinking about what you want on each obstacle until its muscle memory is important– it’s also important, however, to not worry about how to attack a particular course when you arrive at it. “You don’t have to worry about ‘should I do this or this.’ Cause if you don’t have that confidence, you’re gonna get wet.”
5. He Maintains a Healthy Diet
Speaking to American Ninja Warrior in June 2016, Drew said that he often gets asked about his diet and eating habits– he doesn’t eat candy or milkshakes.