Daniel Gil (born May 13, 1993) 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 by a lot of people for his long, curly hair, and also known by many as the Kingdom Ninja.
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.
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.
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 the second stage.
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 the second stage.
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. 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 Two, 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 from 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.
- Despite not being old enough to compete on Season 6 (his 21st birthday occured 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, Drew Drechsel, Geoff Britten, Isaac Caldiero, David Campbell, Mike Bernardo, and Kane Kosugi are the only 7 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.
|ANW7||Failed Roulette Row (Second Stage)|
|ANW8||Failed Ultimate Cliffhanger (Third Stage)||Transition to 6th Ledge.|
|ANW9||Failed Wingnut Alley (Second Stage)||Transition to Landing Platform.|
|ANW10||Failed Deja Vu (Second Stage)|
|ANW11||Failed Rope Climb (Final Stage)||Time Out. About 70 Feet Up.|