Lacassine native vying for 'American Ninja Warrior' title

Web Extra: American Ninja Warrior


Lacassine native Todd Bourgeois is among 30 competitors vying for the title in the NBC series ‘American Ninja Warrior,’ which is in its sixth season.

The action-packed show follows competitors as they tackle a series of challenging obstacle courses in both qualifying and finals rounds across the country. Those that successfully complete a course in their designated region will move on to the national finals round in Las Vegas, where they face a stunning four-stage course modeled after the famed Mt. Midoriyama in Japan.
Bougeois, who’s pictured on NBC’s website, has been dubbed ‘The Cajun Cowboy’ on the show and so far has made it through the Miami qualifiers, with the finals set to air this Monday.

KPLC caught up with him Friday on Skype, as well as his family in Lacassine, to see how the experience has impacted all of them.

Jason Bourgeois, Todd's brother said, “Whenever he told me he was going to try out, I knew he was going to be able to qualify and be on it.”

Family members say they had no doubt Todd would make a perfect competitor on 'American Ninja Warrior'.

Kyle Bourgeois, another one of Todd's brothers said, “He's always been active, always been involved with athletics.”

Born and raised in Lacassine, it's Todd's background that sparked his nickname.

“When I walked up for my first interview this season, one of the producers recognized me, and he walked up to me and said ‘Hey, you're the Cajun Cowboy right?’ I said, 'I guess that's what you call me,'” laughed Todd.

Growing up on a cattle farm, competing in rodeos and pole vaulting at McNeese, it makes sense.

But seeing him on TV is still a big deal.

Angelle Bourgeois, Todd's sister-in-law says, “Watching all these other guys, and all of the sudden there's Todd Bourgeois, Lacassine, Louisiana, Cajun Cowboy. I can't imagine how surreal it is for him.”

“It's pretty neat to see your little brother on there,” added Kyle.

Kole Bourgeois, Todd's nephew admits, “It looks pretty hard.”

While Todd says preparation is tough, cameras and millions of viewers watching is the most challenging part.

“Obviously there's a huge nerve component to it. It's a huge mental game,” said Todd.

But it helps when you have a supportive family.

“You know how they say your little brother always looks up to you? Well I look at my little brother that way because he does excellent at anything he tries,” said Jason.

And they'll be wearing their shirts Monday, cheering him on during the Miami finals.

Todd says ‘American Ninja Warrior’ has also opened doors for him outside the competition, highlighting his mission work as a physical therapist.
Video of the Miami trials competition:
The Miami finals is set to air Monday, July 28 at 8 p.m. on NBC. The top 15 competitors there will move on to the national finals in Las Vegas.

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KPLC. All rights reserved.