Nick Hanson, the American Ninja Warrior from Unalakleet, has designed an obstacle course and will be challenging students to try it at eight Mat-Su Borough schools on May 2- 4, 2017. One obstacle he will be demonstrating is a 14 1/2-foot curved wall — the same height wall that he climbs during the national TV American Ninja Warrior competition that features creative obstacles.
Hanson is visiting local schools to show young children that daily physical activity is healthy and fun. Hanson also will focus on other choices he makes to stay healthy, including not drinking soda, smoking tobacco or abusing drugs.
The last soda Hanson drank was in 2003, when he was a high school athlete. He used to drink multiple cans of soda a day, but when he gave it up, he started to feel better.
“I actually started running faster,” he said. “I started performing better.”
For the past two years, Hanson has been a contestant on American Ninja Warrior and competes as the “Eskimo Ninja.” Hanson, a world record holder in the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics
, has been invited back to compete and will be on the show airing June 12, 2017. When he’s home, Hanson practices every day on the Ninja course he built using driftwood on the beach of Unalakleet.
At his first Mat-Su school visit May 2, Hanson will be joined by the Play Every Day campaign. Last year, Play Every Day partnered with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
to film a 30-second public service announcement
that shows Hanson helping Unalakleet children and families get physically active in many different ways. He has coached children in several sports, including volleyball and Native Youth Olympics. He organizes a free running club for people of all ages in the summer. And when the kids play hide-and-go-seek and other games, Hanson joins in the fun. Play Every Day and ANTHC are broadcasting Hanson’s physical activity message to Alaska families on TV and online this spring and summer.