In the seven-season run of American Ninja Warrior, no one had ever won on the show. That is, until a former Boy Scout dominated the course this week.
Isaac Caldiero, 33, completed the final course in the competition Monday, beating out competitor Geoff Britten by scaling a 75-foot rope about 3 seconds faster.
Caldiero’s tremendous hard work and athletic faire culminated in a history-making American Ninja Warrior victory. But where did his passion for climbing begin?
“I grew up involved in the Boy Scouts of America and that really helped me develop my passion for the outdoors,” Caldiero told Outside.
From there, Caldiero launched into a life of traveling, scoring odd jobs, and, of course, scaling impressive peaks. He and his girlfriend (and fellow American Ninja Warrior competitor) Laura Kisana traveled the country in a 1978 RV, jumping from one climbing destination to the next.
While his active lifestyle prepared him for this week’s big win, it wasn’t easy. In fact, Caldiero has been on the show for three years. And he’s not this season’s only competitor with a Scouting background who’s up for repeat American Ninja Warrior quests.
Early in season seven, viewers met Eagle Scout Jackson Meyer, dubbed the #NinjaScout because he wore his uniform on the course. Meyer’s run ended in the Venice city finals, but he says he hopes to return to the show.
As for Caldiero’s next steps, his million dollar prize winnings will ease his international travels to the South African Rocklands where he and Kisana plan to, what else, climb.
From touring climbing spots in an RV, to the set of American Ninja Warrior, to a triumphant trek to South Africa, Caldiero proves a new passion for a young Scout can change his life.