REVEALED: Meet our five Ninja Warriors
FIVE Northern Rivers and Tweed residents will be part of the first ever series of Ninja Warrior Australia.
Thousands applied and faced a rigorous selection process, but only the absolute best have been given the chance to push themselves beyond their physical and emotional limits.
For 250 ordinary Aussies the wait is over to take their shot at glory.
All competitors, male and female,will tackle the same obstacles throughout five heats, three semi-finals and the ultimate grand final.
The local athletes participating are:
- Age: 43
- Occupation: Health & wellness retreat director / Personal trainer
- Lives: Byron Shire
Mum of three Lisa Parkes, has dedicated her life to fitness, enjoying soccer, circus, running, OCR, triathlons, Ironman and climbing.
After competing as a national level gymnast in her younger years, Lisa was due to compete in the Aerobics World Championships in South Africa.
However, after flying out there she was involved in a horrific car accident the day before competition.
With a broken back and neck the doctors told her she was paralysed with no hope of ever walking again. She decided to prove them wrong.
Lisa went through rehabilitation for six months, learning to walk again - she says "the mind is a powerful thing".
She wants to show her kids how to love life and live every moment like it's your last, so being part of Ninja Warrior is a big moment for Lisa, who wants prove she can do anything and "hit that red button".
Freddie Flintoff describes Lisa as a "true inspiration" to himself and the entire crowd.
- Age: 44
- Occupation: Elvis impersonator and Personal trainer
- Lives: Banora Point
- Ninja name: Elvis Ninja
His biggest passion in life is is Elvis Presley. Elvis's death was a life-changing event for him and he has been collecting memorabilia ever since. His obsession with The King has gone as far as naming one of his kids Elvis.
His other passion is fitness and he regularly competes in kickboxing, triathlons and Taekwondo, winning many medals for his achievements.
Rusty currently holds the largest Elvis collection (more than 20,000 pieces) in the country and often dresses up as the star to perform shows.
He fears the Elvis costume might slow him down on the Ninja Warrior course so 'would have to create an Elvis sports line'.
- Age: 30
- Occupation: Truck driver
- Lives: East Lismore
An easy-going, charismatic, truck driver defying the stereotype, Tom Hazell has a passion for elite obstacle course racing, rock climbing, CrossFit, and dirt biking.
Since discovering obstacle course racing and a love for the show, Tom has turned his shed into a home-built Ninja Warrior obstacle course, complete with peg board, salmon ladder, monkey bars, three metre vertical wall and cliffhangers of varying widths - some as narrow as 17mm.
His dad died in a car crash when he was only five years old and he was raised by his hippy mum in the bush, relying on solar power and enjoying an active, outdoorsy lifestyle without the distractions of television or computers.
- Age: 27
- Occupation: Carpenter/Boat builder
- Lives: Lismore
Calm and collected Aussie boat builder Fred Dorrington has been living in the UK for the past four years.
It was during this time that he competed in the UK version of Ninja Warrior, and placed 3rd overall. Paying homage to his Aussie roots, he ran the course in green and gold and had his didgeridoo with him to represent his heritage.
The experience has spurred him on to train harder and become the first Ninja Warrior on his home turf of Australia. In preparation, he has turned his shed into a Ninja training gym, complete with climbing wall, bars, salmon ladder and token table tennis table.
Fred is looking forward to using his experience to his advantage .
- Age: 26
- Occupation: Personal Trainer and former soldier
- Lives: Tweed Heads
Laid-back, confident and adventurous, Jaymes Wright followed his childhood dream to be a soldier.
After six years of hard graft in the Australian Army Reserves, Jaymes decided to pursue a new dream and became a personal trainer two years ago.
Originally from the UK, Jaymes has many strings to his bow and boasts calisthenics, surfing, skating and basketball as some of his many skills.
Despite his ultimate fear of being eaten by a shark, Jaymes has proven himself as adept in the water as he is on dry land, surfing from age five to a competitive level and becoming the first guy to ever do calisthenics on a stand up paddleboard.
One day, Jaymes would like to run his own calisthenics gym but in the meantime has set his mind to conquering the Ninja course, secure in the knowledge his skills in calisthenics and weight training, in addition to his infantry experience, will give him the edge he needs to succeed.
- Australian Ninja Warrior will debut on Sunday, July 9, at 7pm on the Nine Network.