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American Ninja Warrior 10's Lightning Bolts in Philadelphia

The Lightning Bolts is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the fifth obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 10 in Philadelphia.

It consists of three bolt-shaped rotating cradles and a bar rested at the start of the first cradle. Competitors must jump from the trampoline and grab the bar. Then, they must gain enough momentum to jump the bar and reach the second half of the first cradle (in a similar fashion to the Salmon Ladder, and the second part of the cradle will drop down when the competitors land the bar on it). From there, they must gain enough momentum to jump the bar and reach the second cradle (in a similar fashion to the Flying Bar or Bar Hop), then repeat the same processes until they reach the second part of the third cradle, and finally make the dismount to the landing platform.

During Philadelphia qualifiers, a total of 22 competitors failed on this obstacle, with notable competitors including Lucas Reale, Cara Poalillo, Zach Day, Alex Nye, Ryan Carson and Gavin Ross. Notably, almost every competitor who failed was a rookie, with the only exceptions being Chris Fantauzzo and James Bartholomew, in which Chris was on his second season competing on American Ninja Warrior, while James was on his third season competing. Because of this, almost all of the veterans who attempted the obstacle were able to complete it and finish the course.

On the other side, two rookies (Casey Rothschild and Matt Strollo) were among the 12 competitors who completed the obstacle, as well as the course as a whole. A total of 22 rookies attempted the obstacle, meaning that with them being the only two rookies to finish the obstacle, it ultimately knocked out 91% of the rookies during Philadelphia qualifiers who attempted it.

During Philadelphia finals, 11 competitors fell on the obstacle. This time around, it claimed McKinley Pierce and Chad Riddle as additional non-rookies as its victims. However, with the exception of Pierce and Riddle, every other competitor who failed on this obstacle during Philadelphia finals had failed on it before during Philadelphia qualifiers, including Chris Fantauzzo, Ryan Lee, Andrew Sherk, Tyler Waters, and Brian Pease. Only 13 competitors could get past the obstacle, making it the cut off for the top 15 competitors to advance to Las Vegas national finals.

Other Season Appearances

American Ninja Warrior 11

American Ninja Warrior 11's Lightning Bolts in Seattle-Tacoma

On American Ninja Warrior 11, the Lightning Bolts appeared as the fifth obstacle in Seattle-Tacoma.

During Seattle-Tacoma qualifiers, the obstacle became more brutal, as a total of 25 competitors failed on it. This time, multiple veterans such as Meagan Martin, Nick Hanson, Jackson Meyer, Sean Darling-Hammond, Nate Burkhalter, Charlie Andrews, Matt Dolce, Kenneth Edwards, Ryan Phillips, and Holly Beckstrand, failed on the obstacle. In total, eleven veterans failed on the obstacle. The obstacle ultimately was served as the cut-off for both the top 30 and the top 5 female competitors for advancing to Seattle-Tacoma finals.

As if it wasn't brutal enough, a total of 17 competitors fell on this obstacle during Seattle-Tacoma finals, which was more than 50% of the finalist field. Most astonishingly, ten of the competitors who failed here had completed the obstacle before during Seattle-Tacoma qualifiers: Lance Pekus, Jake Murray, Leif Sundberg, Bart Copeland, Reko Rivera, Justin Gielski, Marquez Green, Alex Hatch, Ben Martin, and Josh Kronberg. Notable competitors who failed on the obstacle again included Jackson Meyer, Meagan Martin (making it the first time in her career that she did not advance to Las Vegas national finals), Glenn Albright, Michael Larlee, Rainer Jundt, Brandon Varner, and Gavin Maxwell. It should be worth noting that with the exception of two competitors, every city finalist in Seattle-Tacoma finals attempted the obstacle. However, because of the high knockout rate, the obstacle contributed to Seattle-Tacoma finals' zero finishers.

Other Appearances

Ninja Warrior Germany

Ninja Warrior Germany 5's Lightning Bolts

The Lightning Bolts appeared as the sixth obstacle of Stage One on Ninja Warrior Germany 5. Compared to the American Ninja Warrior version, competitors didn't have to bring the bar from cradle to cradle, as there was already cradle placed at the start of each cradle. This obstacle caused the most damage out of all obstacles in Stage One, as 23 out of 49 competitors failed on this obstacle alone.

Ninja Warrior Germany 6's Lightning Bolts

It returned as the second obstacle of Stage One on Ninja Warrior Germany 6, however featured only two cradles. In contrast to its appearance on the previous season, only two out of 40 competitors failed on this obstacle.

Australian Ninja Warrior

Australian Ninja Warrior 6's Lightning Bolts

The Lightning Bolts appeared as the seventh obstacle of Stage One on Australian Ninja Warrior 6, with similar configuration from the version on Ninja Warrior Germany 5. After reaching the second part of each cradle, competitors needed to do a 2.5-meter lache transition to reach the next bar.

This obstacle proved to be brutal, eliminating strong competitors such as Simon Martin, Olivia Vivian (twice during her first run and second-chance run), Warwick Draper, and Nathan Burley. Interestingly, all four competitors failed while doing the lache swing and they couldn't firm their grip when transiting to the bounce bar.

Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found
ANW Clears Attempts Percentage
ANW10 (qualifiers) 12 34 35.29%
ANW10 (finals) 13 24 54.17%
ANW11 (qualifiers) 18 43 41.86%
ANW11 (finals) 14 31 45.16%
Total 57 132 43.18%


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