Daniel Gil is a worship leader, singer, and trainer at Sam Sann's Iron Sports gym who first competed in American Ninja Warrior 7. Daniel is known for his long, curly hair, and also known by many as the Kingdom Ninja.
American Ninja Warrior
American Ninja Warrior 7
Daniel first competed in American Ninja Warrior 7 (since he wasn't eligible to compete before) at the Houston Qualifying course. He blasted through the qualifying course posting the fastest time of 1:30.78.
In the Houston finals, Daniel finished the first half of the course at an even quicker pace than he did in qualifying.
He then demolished the Salmon Ladder and made a spectacular leap onto the rope to conserve grip strength on the Walking Bar. That strategy didn't seem to pay off though after he lost his grip on the transition from the fifth to sixth ledge on the Crazy Cliffhanger. Daniel still managed to finish in third place and qualify to the National Finals in Las Vegas.
In the Vegas finals, Gil flew through Stage One finishing with 38.44 seconds left. On Stage Two, Gil maneuvered through the first four obstacles with finesse. However, on the Roulette Row, he didn't go for the reach to the second ring and had trouble building up momentum causing him to fall in the water, this marks the first time he fell at the second stage.
American Ninja Warrior 8
He returned again in American Ninja Warrior 8 for the Oklahoma City qualifiers. He finished the course with ease with the second fastest time at 01:44.17, missing the fastest time by a second as Thomas Stillings, who had the fastest time finished the course at 01:43.51. It is also notable that the recording date (May 13) took place on Gil's 23rd birthday. Gil was the first competitor whose birthday occurred while running an ANW course.
Gil even bettered his Qualifying performance and dominated the City Finals course finishing in first place, punching his second consecutive ticket to the Vegas finals. He was also the only person in the Oklahoma City region to complete both city qualifying & finals courses. He was able to beat Stage One with 15.03 seconds left and Stage Two with 3.81 seconds remaining and made it to Stage Three for the first time, but failed the stage when he missed the transition on the Ultimate Cliffhanger.
American Ninja Warrior 9
Gil returned once again in American Ninja Warrior 9 looking stronger than ever. He blazed through the San Antonio qualifying course finishing with the fastest time of the night. He then repeated his stellar performance by defeating the grueling San Antonio city finals course being the only athlete to do so earning a third consecutive trip to Vegas. He was the also the only competitor ever to complete both city qualifying & finals courses in two consecutive seasons. Overall, Daniel was one of just nine athletes that completed a city finals course that season. On Stage One, he cleared with the third fastest time of 47.96 seconds. On Stage Two although his run was cut midway, he was one of many to fail on Wingnut Alley, thus marking his second failure at Stage Two.
American Ninja Warrior 10
Daniel returned again in American Ninja Warrior 10, this time in Dallas. He had an incredibly fast pace through qualifying, getting through the first three obstacles in 25 seconds, and keeping a great speed and clocked the fastest time of the night of 1:40.79. Plus, he became the first competitor of the season to get up the 18-foot Mega Wall and earn $10,000.
In the city finals, Daniel was one of five finishers that evening (meaning this time he wasn't the only finisher in both city qualifying & finals). Gil retained his speedy pace and finished the course with the fastest time for the third year in a row in a city final course. His run was also responsible for eliminating Jon Stewart out of the top 15.
On Stage One, Daniel was the penultimate runner of the first episode. He completed the course with 38.35 seconds on the clock, only being bested by his pupil and friend, Mathis ‘Kid’ Owhadi.
Unfortunately, Gil was shockingly eliminated by just the third obstacle, Deja Vu on Stage Two, as it marks the third time failing at Stage Two.
American Ninja Warrior 11
Daniel returned for his fifth season on American Ninja Warrior 11 in Oklahoma City. He blazed through the qualifying course and cleared in 1:23.14, even getting up the Mega Wall and earning another $10,000. This turned out to be the fastest time, and he faced off on the Power Tower against 2nd place finisher Matthew Day. They were even until Daniel gained a lead when climbing up the pole, and hit the buzzer well before Matthew, earning the Speed Pass and qualifying for the national finals.
He still attempted the Oklahoma city finals course, where he once again completed the course with the fastest time. From there, he had a chance of winning the Trifecta (the ultimate combination of the Mega Wall, Speed Pass, and Safety Pass on the same season, similarly to Drew Drechsel). He was off against Kid Owhadi in a Student vs. Master competition on the Power Tower. They were even at first, until eventually, Kid got the edge at the end and won against Gil. In the end, Gil just narrowly missed out on the Trifecta.
In Stage One, he was able to beat the stage with the third fastest time, only being beaten by Ethan Swanson and Mathis Owhadi but he completed Stage 1 for the fifth time in history second only to Brian Arnold. The rock star continued his fast speed in Stage Two and cleared it with ease as well. Clearing with 65.57 seconds left and having not only the fastest ever Stage Two time this season, but of all time on American Ninja Warrior history. In Stage Three, he was able to beat the Ultimate Cliffhanger that took him out before and was able to barely finish Cane Lane. However, he still powered through the final obstacle, the Flying Bar and finish Stage Three, becoming the 4th person to ever beat Stage Three on American Ninja Warrior in competition. It was worth knowing that the time differences between Drew and Gil were a 1 second difference, with that Gil will attempt Stage Four last. In Stage Four, he went at a fast pace and was very quick in the first half on the rope, unfortunately, he started to slow down and he timed out at the 70 feet mark, ending his best performance to date.
American Ninja Warrior 12
Daniel Gil returned for ANW 12 after his best season yet. Before his run he said that he wants the Mega Wall and the Power Tower. He breezed through the first three obstacles and had a small stumble on Rib Run but quickly recovered. He, unfortunately, couldn't get the Mega Wall but finished the course with a time of 1:18:57. Sadly his time wasn't enough to get him into the Power Tower. In the semifinals, Daniel yawned before The Dungeon, but still was able to complete it. He then breezed up the Spider Trap, placing 2nd and moving on to the finals. Before his run the finals, Matt and Akbar said that Daniel Gil yawned to slow and calm him down. During his run, Daniel flew through the course, and went straight from Dragonback to the Spider Trap without stopping. He placed 2nd once again (beat by Jake Murray) and moved on to the Power Tower playoffs.
In the first matchup, his experience helped him beat Flex Labreck. In the second matchup, he and Adam Rayl were neck and neck, and Daniel only beat Adam by 1/10th of a second. In the final matchup, he raced Austin Gray. Austin took the lead at first, but Daniel passed him on the Cliffhanger, and hit the buzzer first, winning the American Ninja Warrior 12 trophy and taking home $100,000 and going the entire season without failing an obstacle since his Stage 4 failure the year prior.
American Ninja Warrior 13
Gil returned for American Ninja Warrior 13 in the first episode of qualifying. Unlike most of the veterans in the first episode, Gil showed no signs of struggle through the early obstacles. However on the new fifth obstacle V Formation he ran into trouble. As he was ascending the obstacle, he thought he had made it up the first rung of the ladder for he had heard the click noise from the obstacle, unfortunately the ring was not fully lodged and it fell back down knocking Daniel’s grip loose and sending him into the water giving him his first qualifying fail. He was still able to place 7th and move on to the Semi-Finals.
In the semifinals, Daniel was once again the last runner. Looking for revenge on his shocking fail in qualifying, Daniel went through the course with ease. When he reached Split Decision at obstacle nine, he surprisingly went for the riskier Tuning Forks, even though he was well ahead of the fastest time and likely would have completed the Inverter. Nevertheless, he completed the obstacle and went on to complete the course with the fastest time by more than two and a half minutes, earning him a spot on the Power Tower for a chance at the Safety Pass.
Daniel was the heavy favorite to win on the Power Tower against Brian Burkhardt. However, in a shocking upset, Daniel accidentally released the bar when he reached the Salmon Ladder portion of the Power Tower. It took him a couple of attempts to get it back into place, and by the time he could do so, Brian had nearly finished.
Based on both external information and ANW itself, Gil unfortunately was unable to compete in Vegas due to testing positive for COVID-19, forcing him to withdraw from the competition. He was replaced with Jody Avila, due to him placing 16th in Gil's episode.
Gil did not compete on American Ninja Warrior 14 in light of the vaccine mandate applied to the show. He was shown on the virtual sideline during Isabella Wakeham's semifinal run without any mention as to why he did not compete that year.
Daniel Gil is to be featured in the upcoming docuseries Becoming the Ultimate Ninja.
- Despite not being old enough to compete on Season 6 (his 21st birthday occurred after the qualifying rounds were held), Daniel was frequently shown in the crowds during the Dallas qualifying and city finals courses in support of his trainer, Sam Sann. He was even shown in training at Sann's gym during his competitor profile video.
- Gil was the third competitor whose birthday occurred while running an ANW course, after Cheetah Platt in American Ninja Warrior 2, and Natalie Strasser in American Ninja Warrior 4. This would later be followed by Halei Jo Fuller (born April 13) and Brett Sims (born April 14) on the Miami qualifiers/city finals respectively.
- Gil married Abigail Rose Gonzales on December 21st, 2016.
- For his singing skills and especially long hair, he is known for bearing an uncanny resemblance to American songwriter/saxophonist Kenny G. In fact, he was occasionally referred to as "Danny G" by Matt and Akbar.
- Gil is one of only 5 athletes in American Ninja Warrior to have cleared the Invisible Ladder, the Elevator Climb and the Spider Trap in city finals (with Josh Levin, Ian Dory, Drew Drechsel, and Joe Moravsky were the others).
- Gil has the record for the fastest Stage Two time after Casey Finley's fastest Stage Two time in Season 5, as Gil finished Stage Two of American Ninja Warrior 11 with over 65 seconds left on the clock.
- Gil, Kaden Lebsack, Drew Drechsel, Geoff Britten, Isaac Caldiero, David Campbell, Mike Bernardo, and Kane Kosugi are the only 8 Americans to finish Third Stage in any SASUKE/Ninja Warrior competition.
- Gil is the first ever competitor to have timed out on Stage Four on American Ninja Warrior, as he Timed Out on the Rope Climb in American Ninja Warrior 11. He would later be followed by Kaden Lebsack.
- Daniel has five consecutive finishes on Stage One with American Ninja Warrior 7 to American Ninja Warrior 11 which is one behind Brian Arnold with 6.
Team Ninja Record
|Season||Episode||Round||Heat||Opponent Team||Opponent||Result||Notes||Individual Record|
|Team: Iron Grip|
|1||5 (Qualifying)||Round One||3 (Anchor Run)||Lab Rats||Brian Wilczewski||Win||1-0|
|1||5 (Qualifying)||Round One||4 (Sudden Death)||Lab Rats||Chris Wilczewski||Win||Chris fell at the Doorknob Arch.||2-0|
|1||5 (Qualifying)||Round Two||3 (Anchor Run)||Ninja Brittens||Geoff Britten||Win||Geoff fell at the Dancing Stones.||3-0|
|2||4 (Qualifying)||Round One||3 (Anchor Run)||Lab Rats||Brian Wilczewski||Win||4-0|
|2||4 (Qualifying)||Round One||4 (Sudden Death)||Lab Rats||Brian Wilczewski||Loss||Daniel fell at the Ring of Fire.||4-1|
|2||4 (Qualifying)||Round Two||2||Phoenix Force||Najee Richardson||Win||5-1|
|2||10 (Finals)||Round One||3 (Anchor Run)||Storm Team||Joe Moravsky||Loss||5-2|
|2||10 (Finals)||Round Two||3 (Anchor Run)||Team Ronin||Flip Rodriguez||Win||6-2|
|3||7 (Qualifying)||First Matchup||3||InvincAbels||Abel Gonzalez||Win||7-2|
|3||7 (Qualifying)||Final Matchup||3||Lizard Kings||Kyle Soderman||Win||8-2|
|3||12 (Playoffs)||First Matchup||3||Beasts from the East||James McGrath||Win||9-2|
|3||12 (Playoffs)||Final Matchup||3||Golden Hearts||Neil Craver||Win||10-2|
|3||16 (Finals)||First Matchup||3||Team Ronin||Flip Rodriguez||Loss||10-3|
American Ninja Warrior Results
|7||Failed Roulette Row (Stage Two)|
|8||Failed Ultimate Cliffhanger (Stage Three)||Transition to 6th Ledge.|
|9||Failed Wingnut Alley (Stage Two)||Transition to Landing Platform.|
|10||Failed Deja Vu (Stage Two)|
|11||Failed Rope Climb (Stage Four)||Time Out. About 70 Feet Up.|
|13||Withdrew||Did not compete due to testing positive for COVID-19. Replaced by Jody Avila.|