American Ninja Warrior is back tonight with its three-hour annual special, American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. The World. Team USA will be taking on Team Europe, Team Latin America, and Team Asia in this evening’s competition.
Each team will be comprised of four members who will battle it out on the four-stage national finals course. Team members will even compete against one another, in hopes of taking home the winning title.
Read on to learn more about the men who will make up Team USA this year.
Drew Drechsel is a well-rounded athlete and has competed professionally in many different sports, including disc golf and freerunning. A seven-time ninja warrior competitor, Drew is the program director at New Era Ninjas in Hamden, Connecticut. He is a six-time Mount Midoriyama veteran and has competed on Sasuke five times.
Speaking to ANW Nation in 2016, Drew opened up about his diet and training regime for ANW. He said that he maintains a healthy diet, avoiding candy and milkshakes, and works out on average for 45 minutes to an hour a day. Drew added, “I go out and play for several hours at a time on a daily basis. I don’t feel like I’m working out, until the next day when I’m super sore. You go out with the mentality of just go out and have fun and play. And if you take that with you, you’re just going to continually play around, have fun.”
Joe Moravsky, 28, is an athlete and meteorologist who has competed on ANW since season five. He studied meteorology at Western Connecticut State University and works as a freelance meteorologist at News 12 Connecticut in Bethel, CT.
During his first go at the American Ninja Warrior course, Joe impressively made it to stage three in the Las Vegas finals. Nicknamed the Weatherman Ninja, Joe has a dedicated fan base.
He has worked with his fellow team members, Bryan and Richardson, before. Asked by ANW Nation if he gave them any advice before starting stage 3 on season 9 of the show, he said, “… this Stage Three was different. Two guys who’d never been there before were there, so I was like, “Let’s help them out. I want to see them get far into this thing.” I don’t think they’re going to beat it. I think they’re strong enough, but they lack the experience on Stage Three. It’s so hard to beat it the first time through.”
Asked how he felt about his season 9 performances as a whole, Joe said, “I’m very happy with my performance in season nine. I’m the only competitor to be last man standing twice. I feel like Geoff Britten and Isaac Caldiero are the best two Ninjas out there. I feel like I’m now third. I’m pretty much the only guy who makes it the furthest and always fails.”
Joe lives with his wife, Stephanie Silveira, and their son, Jacob.
Najee “The Phoenix” Richardson
Richardson is a former elite gymnast and fitness trainer. An NCAA athlete in college, he is new to the ‘American Ninja Warrior’ family. An injury ended Richardson’s gymnastics career, which is when he turned to ANW. He tells the Philly Tribune, “It wasn’t common and it was very unusual, but it was unusual in a way that I was used to, because with gymnastics, it’s one of those sports that you really have to train for. It’s not something you can just kind of go outside and play around with.”
Last year, during season 9 of ANW, Najee placed 6th in the Cleveland Qualifying course. In the city finals, he fell on the Nail Clipper, but was able to place 13th overall, making it to the National Finals. He was one of just three competitors to successfully complete stage 2.
Sean graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Physics. At Berkeley, he competed as a gymnast for the school’s team.
Bryan also has an MA in Theology. In an interview with The Word on Fire, he was asked about his faith background. Bryan explained that in college, a friend asked if he would attend church with him. He began attending mass regularly that year. He says, “I started to discern my vocation in my third year of college, and by the time I graduated (after 5 years), I decided to discern further with the Salesians of Don Bosco. Their mission to educate and evangelize the young and to accompany youth and young adults resonated with me. After four years, I ended up leaving the program of formation for religious life, but stayed with the Salesians in another capacity.”