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Salisbury doctor places in top 50 of ‘American Ninja Warrior” regional show Monday night


Dr. Elliott Love was one of 115 “American Ninja Warrior” contestants who were in the show’s regional competition held in Daytona, Fla. in April.
Submitted photo

SALISBURY — He won’t be going to Las Vegas for the championship round this year, but Dr. Elliott Love hasn’t given up his dream of getting to the “American Ninja Warrior” finals.

“I plan on doing it until I win it,” he said Monday.

Love, 39, is a surgeon in the Salisbury office of the Dermatology Group of the Carolinas. He was one of 115 competitors who were part of the regional qualifying competition held in Daytona, Florida, in early April.

The “American Ninja Warrior” episode from that qualifier aired Monday night on NBC.

Elliott’s attack on the obstacle course wasn’t shown during Monday’s show, but Elliott reports he finished 47th overall, while battling through a hand injury that’s just now healing.

He and his family were glued to their television set Monday night for the two-hour episode. In the end, 15 people from the regional qualified to move on to the championship in Las Vegas.

Love and his family — wife Kassie and sons Landon, 10, Bennett, 8, and Miles, 6 — live in Davidson. Love trained for “American Ninja Warrior” at Kinetic Heights Challenge Center in Charlotte.

The whole family accompanied Love to Daytona in April. When it came time for him to take on the course, they were allowed to follow his every move from the sidelines.

The Loves were in Daytona for four days, April 5-8. Love acknowledged he was one of the older competitors. The only contestant he met who was older was a 65-year-old man whom Love predicted viewers would definitely see Monday night.

“American Ninja Warrior” held regionals in Los Angeles, San Antonio, Daytona, Kansas City, Cleveland and Denver. Love applied to be a contestant on the show in December and learned in March, about a month before having to be in Daytona, that he had been selected to be among the 115 competitors.

It was a conversation with his oldest son, Landon, that led to Love’s application. They were watching an episode of “American Ninja Warrior,” and his son asked, “Dad, do you think you could do that?”

Love answered that he thought he could, and Landon issued the ultimate challenge when he asked, “Why don’t you do it?”

Love said he has coached his sons in football, basketball, baseball and soccer over the past six years and has always told them they could do anything, if they practiced and set their minds to the tasks at hand.

How could he not try out for “American Ninja Warrior?”

Love is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and for the show weighed about 180 pounds. He said the obstacle course takes a combination of strength, agility, balance, foot speed and even acrobatics worthy of Spider-Man.

“It has been amazing,” Love said of the whole experience. “I got to go down and meet some great people.”

In Daytona, Love was trying to work through a hand injury. During his one shot at the obstacle course, he tore a ligament in a finger.

Love said his competitive nature won’t allow him to give up. He’s going to keep training for another shot on the show.

“You can always reapply,” he said. “They can also ask you back. I’m expected to be asked back.”

A  tough aspect of the “American Ninja Warrior” competition is that you only get one chance at the course. Bennett Love shed some tears in Daytona after he realized his father was finished and could not try again.

Love wakes at 3:45 a.m. daily so he can get in a workout before commuting to Salisbury. He does a lot of lifting, running, climbing and overall obstacle training at the center in Charlotte.

One thing Love has been working on is the “acrobatic” element he confronted on the “American Ninja Warrior” course in Daytona.

“Propelling yourself 6 to 8 feet in the air is something you’re not doing every day,” Love said.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.



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