Another local athlete has broken into the national spotlight of American Ninja Warrior, but this time this one's only pint-size, as is his competition.
Logan Staggs, 9, is competing on the junior edition of the show, American Ninja Warrior Junior. For the past five years, he has trained under Thomas "The Genie Ninja" Stillings, who happens to be a four-time national American Ninja Warrior finalist in his own right.
Stillings owns Parkour Ninjas Gym on Freedom Drive, where he trains other ninjas and parkour athletes. He says that he's always had a special relationship with Staggs, and when he was selected for his first show, he was sure to tell Staggs first. He said he believes that lit a fire under the ambitious tyke to pursue the goal for himself.
"It's great having an ANW ninja as my coach because he gives me tips on how to get through the different obstacles," Staggs said.
"It's amazing to see his dream unfolding before my eyes like this," Stillings added.
Staggs said he remembered the moments after he found out he had been selected for the competition.
"My family just exploded in shouting," he said. "My sister just kept asking me all these questions about it and wouldn't stop."
Staggs's 7-year-old sister, Maddie, claims that her only comments were: "I love you, and can you tell me what it's like when you get home?"
She later admitting grilling her big brother with an interrogation of questions until she knew he couldn't take it anymore.
The two work together in ninja training at Stillings' gym and support each other every step of their young journey.
Staggs ANWJ debut was on Saturday on Universal Kids. To follow his progress, visit www.universalkids.com.