20-year-old Hansen, who is 5’2 “, was a victim of bullying for most of his teens. “Growing up in middle school and throughout high school, I was stigmatized and always called by name,” Hanson said. “It was really difficult, because people were always underestimating me.”
Hansen adopts his unique circumstances and wears number 12 when he competes to celebrate what he has beaten. Despite being much smaller than the average competitor, Hanson dominated the course. Known as Gerni Ninja, he became the first contestant of the season to climb a 14.5-foot warp wall and hit the buzzer.
After completing the feat, he turned to announce Akbar Gbajbamila and asked, “Is this enough for you, Akbar?” He went on to tell the announcer, “When growing up, people told me that I couldn’t do it all my life, so I did it.”
Hansen placed third in the qualifying round and would advance to the city finals.
American ninja warrior Will air on NBC on Monday nights at 8 p.m.
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