A man with Parkinson’s disease appeared on “American Ninja Warrior” and proved once and for all you don’t need to hit the buzzer to win the game — sometimes, you win it by your sheer determination and the will to prove yourself.
The popular action-packed competition series is all about pushing your limits and testing your strength. The challenging obstacle courses on the show are no easy feat, which is why many were surprised when a 41-year-old tech consultant battling the debilitating neurological disease competed at the Kansas City qualifiers.
Jimmy Choi from Bolingbrook, Illinois, was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease when he was just 27. In an emotional video that played before the run, Choi admitted he went through severe depression during the early years of his disease.
However, after years of struggle, he ultimately took up an intense training regimen. Since then, he has completed multiple triathlons, run over a dozen marathons, and cycled numerous 100-mile rides. To date, he has also raised over $100,000 for Michael J. Fox’s grassroots Parkinson’s fundraising community, TeamFox.
Apparently, Choi’s daughter encouraged him to compete in the program.
“My goal is to go out there and show everybody out there, no matter what they’re faced with, the hardest step is that first step,” he said. “Once you take that first step, the rest of it comes easy.”
Choi may not have hit the buzzer, but his incredible performance on the course, particularly the way he leapt and dived his way to the broken pipes round, which man contestants had failed to tackle that night, left the audience in awe.
The internet immediately fell in love with his courage and strength:
I'm in awe of those that overcome obstacles (of all types) and have positive spirits to match. Such inspirations. #AmericanNinjaWarrior— Popcorn and Pringles (@CupcakeGirl1444) July 4, 2017
#AmericanNinjaWarrior Dear Jimmy Choi, You're a badass. You're an inspiration. Fight on ????— rissadee (@rissadee) July 4, 2017
That's cool! Jimmy Choi did awesome! I wish Grandpa Yoda was able to see it. He had Parkinson's. Miss you, Grandpa! #AmericanNinjaWarrior— Lady Eden Pyrithea (@LadyEden1337) July 5, 2017
Still thinking of last nights #AmericanNinjaWarrior— Gregg Masters (@GreggMasters) July 4, 2017
Jimmy Choi is a WARRIOR!
Taking the first step is the Only way!
Watch it! Be inspired!
???????????????? to the runner with Parkinson's. God bless him for trying. You did amazing. #AmericanNinjaWarrior— Courtney (@CourtneyAndy86) July 4, 2017
Guy on #americanninjawarrior with Parkinson's is an incredible inspiration. Wow.— AshleySims (@AshleySims) July 4, 2017
Choi now hopes to return to the course in 2018.
Watch his complete run in the video above.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr user OakleyOriginals