You may recall reading last year about the American Ninja Warrior adventure of David Peterson, the Dis­trict Direc­tor for the Utah Nation­al Parks Coun­cil in St. George. Well, hold onto your throwing stars, Dave is at it again!

In December, Dave submitted his application to compete again on the television show, stating that he was “going to give the course another try! I achieved my goal last year of getting a chance to compete, but wasn’t satisfied with falling on the fourth obstacle.” In April, he received confirmation that he would compete at the qualifiers in Denver on May 23.

After competing last year, Dave had this to say about some of his thoughts during the competition:

“I had a great time! I was number 55 out of the 115 or so that ran and the last of the Desert Ninjas to tackle the course. As I stepped onto the runway I didn’t feel the butterflies that I thought were sure to come. I was excited for the chance to race! I ended up 33rd overall. Just 3 spots from finals.”

Dave felt he had a strong plan in place last year. He had executed it perfectly until the last minute, where he made some changes in his strategy. The end result was a time not good enough to make it past qualifiers. To get a visual of what the course was like, see one of his teammates, Jon Stewart compete in the qualifiers.


A Year of Training

In the months proceeding the competition, he learned much about himself and the principle of mind over matter. He counseled, “Your body will tell you to give up and that it cannot go any further, but you have to push to the end.” Over the past year, many hours were spent in physical and mental training.

He has also shared his passion for the sport with different Scouts in the area. A course has been built in his backyard that troops have come to use. Additionally, a portable ninja course was constructed to bring to larger Scouting events like the Scout Expo in St. George. Every time the course is opened, Peterson said “the lines are always backed up.”

A Family of Ninja Warriors

This year at the qualifiers Dave is excited to not only have the support of his wife, but his children will also be there to cheer him on. Regarding the encouragement his family offers, Dave said, “It’s huge because they make you want to try harder to make it to the end to be able to celebrate together.” The family even has custom matching t-shirts made by Scout Camp staff over the summer with the fleur-de-lis on the front and the phrase “A Scout is… a Ninja,” on the back. Due to the large cost of taking his family to Denver to compete, the family has established a GoFundMe to subset some of the costs.

He is excited to take on a new updated course and show his family, his community and Scouts everywhere that anything can be accomplished if you put your mind to it.









American Ninja Warrior is a television spin-off of a Japanese series, where hundreds of competitors attempt to complete a physically demanding obstacle course. Once passed a preliminary qualifier, competitors can have the chance to compete in Las Vegas at the national finals.

Colin Wylie
Colin Wylie is a Marketing Associate with the Utah National Parks Council. He attends Brigham Young University as a Public Relations student, minoring in Nonprofit Management.


  1. Maloree E Anderson
    Maloree E Anderson ( User Karma: 1 ) says:

    Amazing! What an example of being “physically strong.” Good luck!!!

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