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Friday, October 31, 2014
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The set of NBC's

The set of NBC's "American Ninja Warrior," now in it's fifth season. (Photo courtesy of Chauvet Professional)

Lacassine contestant advances on 'American Ninja Warrior'

Last Modified: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 5:45 PM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

After flying through an elaborate obstacle course, Todd Bourgeois had one wall to scale before snagging a spot in the semifinals on the NBC television show American Ninja Warrior.

With a time of two minutes and 11 seconds, the 31-year-old physical therapist from Lacassine conquered the difficult challenge and was ranked among the top 30.

The show, based on a Japanese competition series, includes athletes from across the United States who put their skills to the test on a demanding course that requires strength and endurance. The one who outlasts all the rest will be deemed the next American Ninja Warrior.

But in order to get the title, participants must get past all four stages at nationals. However, in previous seasons, no one has made it past stage three.

Bourgeois competed last year as a rookie and has been training ever since for the show’s sixth season.

“Growing up on a farm I was the youngest of three boys, and they always made me do crazy things,” Bourgeois said by phone Sunday. “I’ve had that attitude in life to try the toughest challenge and go for it.”

Bourgeois graduated from Lacassine High School in 2001 and was a pole vaulter at McNeese State University before graduating in 2005. Currently, Bourgeois is an instructor of physical therapy at the University of St. Augustine in Florida. When he’s not teaching or training for the show, Bourgeois said the most rewarding aspect of his life is his mission work overseas. He and a team of physical therapists travel to third world countries and volunteer their services to those in need. In fact, the day before he competed on the show he took a red eye flight from Ecuador.

His mother, Valerie Bourgeois, said she couldn’t be prouder of her son and all of his success.

“He’s a very good athlete and has a lot of dedication,” she said. “We have a huge family here rooting him on.”

Recently, production spent the day on his parents’ 2,000-acre farm and filmed him with his family.

“It was awesome and surreal. Being in Florida I really value the time that I get to go home,” he said. “I was honored and stoked that the camera crew wanted to know about my life and my family and how I was raised. They were so excited to be on the farm with us and see our Cajun culture.”

Filming is complete on this season of the show and the episodes will air at a later date. Bourgeois’s first round aired last Monday. He can’t say how he did on the show, but if he makes it to the top 15 in the finals he will make it to the national finals in Las Vegas. The next episode he will be featured on is the Miami finals, which is tentatively set to air July 21 on NBC.

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