Local sports producer overcomes health crises to compete on ‘American Ninja Warrior’

By Charlie Walters

SAN FRANCISCO — A community athletics radio producer overcame much much more than just the issues of demanding coaching to turn into an “American Ninja Warrior.”

Athletics are a offered in Chris O’Connell’s daily daily life, whether he’s making athletics at 95.7 the activity, or schooling for the competitors-primarily based actuality exhibit. It’s easy to see his enjoy for athletics.

Even so, it really is what you cannot see about his previous that completely tells his story.

“When I was a few decades previous I discovered out — my moms and dads discovered out — I had a congenital heart disorder,” O’Connell described.

As a youngster, sports activities have been a forbidden fruit for O’Connell, nevertheless he admits he “was constantly a sports fanatic.” The only difficulty was his physician informed him to continue to keep his heart level down, which stored him absent from any intense actual physical activity until eventually adulthood.

“I hardly did any exercises right before I was 21,” claimed O’Connell. That is how old he was when a new medical doctor he’d viewed gave him the eco-friendly gentle to commence operating out. 

“For the to start with half of my lifestyle they informed me to sluggish down,” claimed O’Connell. “So if I’m heading to exercising, I’m heading to prepare for American Ninja Warrior and do that.”

"American Ninja Warrior" contestant Chris O'Connell
“American Ninja Warrior” contestant Chris O’Connell.


Chris experienced for his likelihood at a place on the show for three years right until he was completely ready to mail in his audition tape, proper about the time his spouse organized to beginning their to start with child….

“Within two months, my lifetime modified totally. I wished to check out out for ‘ANW.’ As a substitute, I discovered out I would will need my next heart surgical treatment,” O’Connell reported. “I was supposed to be in there [the hospital] for 3 times I was in there for 11. My spouse stayed by my aspect the entire time, sleeping on a cot when she was 3 months expecting.”

Right after medical procedures, Chris had to recuperate for 12 months. It was all through that time his son Cavin was born, leading to a different problem daily life threw his way.

“At his two 7 days checkup, that’s when we identified out he required coronary heart medical procedures far too,” he mentioned.

Like Chris, Cavin was a heart warrior too…

“I have to slow him down. He is also my little ninja. He swings on the ropes and runs up the wall,” O’Connell said.

8 several years immediately after the birth of his son, the two shared the nationwide stage jointly on “American Ninja Warrior.” O’Connell came up an impediment quick, but if his story has taught us anything at all, conquering obstructions is what he does best…  

” Nevertheless have still to strike the buzzer. Up coming year I want to strike that buzzer and be on top rated of that wall,” he stated.