The American Ninja Warrior National Finals get underway in a few weeks, and will mark the conclusion to the most entertaining season yet of the obstacle racing competition. One of the contestants that will feel right at home in Las Vegas is ostentatious country boy Neil Craver.
MADNESS IN MIAMI
Sporting gold lamé shorts and matching body paint, the free-spirited Craver shined (literally) at the 2018 ANW Miami City Finals. He made it all the way to the final obstacle, but despite an epic effort came up just a few feet shy of the finishing platform.
Craver advanced all the way to the Crazy Clocks obstacle despite competing with a surgically-repaired labrum in his shoulder.
Craver, a North Carolina native, has showcased his endlessly creative ethos in ANW submission videos over the past several years.
In Craver’s Season 6 submission video, the 5-foot-11 160 pounder shared some of his unique training regimen which includes hanging curls, barrel balancing and being pelted by snowballs while doing pull ups.
The following year, Craver’s training grew even more unorthodox. After falling victim to the Salmon Ladder last season, he built his own version, then practiced until he could successfully navigate the obstacle with Vaseline-coated hands — while wearing skinny jeans and blinded by a backward-facing motorcycle helmet.
Craver’s Season 8 submission was filled with dazzling pyrotechnics that make the actual ANW obstacles look positively pedestrian by comparison.
Relentlessly pursuing golden dreams of total victory at Mt. Midoriyama, Craver continues to put life, limb and sanity in the clutches of glitter and gasoline.
AN ARTIST’S EYE
By trade, Carver is a photographer of note, having been featured in publications and art galleries world wide. Like his life at large, his work explores unusual points of view.
Before delving into photography, Craver began his artistic journey as an abstract painter and figurative sculptor whose motivation grew from his interest of psychophysical effects of color.