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'American Ninja Warrior on NBC': Who is Christoper Harding Jones? Georgia teen becomes first to vault all obstacles

'When I was a kid, I could have never imagined myself being ninja. When I did things like soccer and dance, I was always terrible at them,' Jones said
Christopher Harding Jones in 'American Ninja Warrior' Season 14 (@livingwide/Instagram)
Christopher Harding Jones in 'American Ninja Warrior' Season 14 (@livingwide/Instagram)

'American Ninja Warrior' on NBC is no stranger to heartwarming stories of contestants who have fought enough adversity before making a mark in the hit reality show. In Qualifier 1 of Season 14, 17-year-old Christopher Harding Jones from Georgia came with enough expectations and pressure to complete the challenging obstacle course, and he did so becoming the first to successfully complete the latest course. This one was for his father, who had trained him to be a Ninja Warrior by building him obstacle courses at home before succumbing to lung cancer.

Jones, who goes by Topher, and his family were all seen sporting tees that read 'Live Wide' — a motto that the teen's father lived by. "When I was a kid, I could have never imagined myself being a ninja. When I did things like soccer and dance, I was always terrible at them and would be the last to be picked," Topher opined. "My dad built me a Ninja course. He started getting really excited about the prospect of me legitimately being on the show. But, about five years ago, my dad was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and given only four months to live. It didn't feel fair, my dad never smoked in his entire life. My family's worry was that he'd sort of give up and shut down."


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Topher went on to explain how his dad had a philosophy and lived by it. "He did the opposite and coined the phrase 'Living Wide.' It wasn't about the length of your life, it was the width. 'Living Wide.' ended up changing hundreds of people's lives all around the world. He entered these groups with people with terminal illnesses and encouraged them to live their life to the fullest. Not only did it change their lives, but it also changed our family'. It was kind of cool, the things we did after the diagnosis. He was given only four months to live, instead, he lived for four years."

The show was a 'game-changer " according to his mother, Sherry Jones. Topher was one of the contestants who looked calm, measured, and fully in control when he vaulted each challenge. There were some adrenaline-fuelled celebrations. but the teen accomplished what was expected of him when he finally hit the buzzer.

What are your thoughts on Topher's excellent run?

'American Ninja Warrior' airs Mondays at 8 pm ET on NBC.