D.C. Firefighter, 7 Other Locals Compete on ‘American Ninja Warrior' Finals

Eight D.C.-area locals will compete for $1 million on Monday night's airing of a competition no American has ever completed.

The eight are among those representing the Northeast region in NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" finals in Pittsburgh:

  • Mike Bernardo -- Washington, D.C.
  • Geoff Britten -- Olney, Maryland
  • Sean Darling-Hammond -- Washington, D.C.
  • Adam Grossman -- Washington, D.C.
  • Todd Mitchell -- Annandale, Virginia
  • Elet Hall -- Cavetown, Maryland
  • Justin Kydd -- Waldorf, Maryland
  • Dustin Sanderson -- Herndon, Virginia

Bernardo, a D.C. firefighter who's been training for the past five years, is getting a seventh chance to take on the notoriously tough obstacle course.

By day he’s a firefighter and paramedic responding to emergencies in the District. But in his free time, he’s trying to do something no American has accomplished. Mark Segraves has the story of a local man trying to become the first American Ninja Warrior.

The self-named "fall guy" has videos showcasing some big wipeouts that have stood between him and the finals, all but once.

"You can always count on that," Bernardo said in a video. "If I can't win big, I'm definitely at least gonna lose big."

Bernardo also has experience in mixed martial arts and said the training is exhausting, but the competition is worth it.

"It's kinda symbolic to me for the struggles and trials that we go through in our everyday life," he told News4's Mark Segraves in January.

Barnardo struggled with injuries from work after losing the "American Ninja Warrior" competition a second time, but said his friends pulled him up and convinced him to give it another shot, according to his 2012 audition tape.

"I had no expectation of success going in, I just wanted to prove that I wouldn't let bad luck keep me down," he said.

Throughout seven seasons, no one has ever completed the final round of the competition, but Bernardo says he's back to become the first-ever American ninja warrior.

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