In his quest to become the first “American Ninja Warrior,” recent WCSU grad Joe Morvasky climbs toward the finals
DANBURY, CONN. — A half million dollars and the chance to win a title that no American has ever won. It’s just another day in the life of “American Ninja Warrior” hopeful and Western Connecticut State University graduate Joseph Moravsky.
On Monday, Sept. 9, Moravsky will compete with the 21 “best of the best” in Las Vegas that will air at 9 p.m. (EST) NBC (not the usual 8 p.m. slot). The show is the American version of the Japanese “Sasuke,” and has aired since December 2009 with no declared winner. On Sept. 16, the rest of the 21 will compete and then move into the finals, aired on the same date and time.
“This is like being on the basketball court in the NBA finals,” said the 24-year-old Sherman man who has been a Season 5 star and was chosen from thousands of applicants. “I love the thrill of being in front of the camera and being on the world’s hardest obstacle course. It’s the chance of a lifetime that you have to take.”
Moravsky said his physical strengths are balance and speed. His best event has been the salmon ladder where he jumps up the rungs using only his upper body — and risks elimination from the show if he ends up falling into the water below.
“As a rookie I was nervous, but I also felt there were no expectations. I was nervous for myself because I knew how well I could do,” he said.
But Moravsky isn’t just a ninja wannabe — he’s also a meteorologist, having earned his bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Western this past December.
“My meteorology degree helped me set up a competitive profile. This makes me interesting. I’m a meteorologist. That’s my story,” said Moravsky, who is also interviewing for jobs in the field.
A lifelong athlete, Moravsky currently is a gymnastics coach and trainer who spent his life playing soccer and basketball and running cross-country.
Moravsky said even though “ninja” isn’t exactly synonymous with “meteorologist” by any stretch of the imagination, Western prepared him for the real world in many ways. Whether it’s during fierce physical competition or a fierce storm, how to communicate in front of a camera is something that he learned at WCSU.
“I wanted to be a meteorologist ever since I was a kid. I would be outside during a thunderstorm and looking at the clouds. I wasn’t afraid to get out and put myself in harm’s way,” he said.
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