GALAX, Va. - You have a chance this weekend to experience what it's like to be on the hit NBC show "American Ninja Warrior," and honor the life of a fallen Carroll County deputy.
Galax Xtreme Fitness, in conjunction with partners throughout the community, organized Ninja Warrior 122. The event will give participants a chance to run a Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course, meet three ninja warriors from the show and hear their stories.
"This is going to raise funds for the Fit to Serve 122 campaign, which here locally, we are going to be building a new fitness facility at our local high school," said Rick Whisenhunt, co-owner of Galax Xtreme Fitness. "It's going to serve not only the students at Galax High School, but it's also going to serve the law enforcement in the Twin County and fire and EMS."
The fitness center will be named after Curtis Bartlett, the Carroll County deputy killed in the line of duty in March 2017. Bartlett had a passion for fitness and inspiring others.
"He was always pushing people, so I think he would be here, telling people to overcome their fears, have some fun," said Sam Bartlett, Curtis's dad.
Whisenhunt said Mike Cook, of Ultimate Backyard Warrior in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, provided the obstacle course for Saturday and Sunday's event.
Whisenhunt said Curtis was a good friend of his, and he would have enjoyed this weekend's event.
"Curtis would be right in the middle of this and he would be loving every minute of it," Whisenhunt said.
"I heard how passionate Curtis was about fitness, and not only that, but really inspiring people," said Thorne. "His whole message is 'Live Inspired' and I think that is definitely inspirational."
Saturday will also feature a competition that will pit local law enforcement officers against local firefighters.
At 6:30 p.m., the event moves to Galax High School where Gil, McCartney and Thorne will share their stories and take pictures and sign autographs.
On Sunday, January 28, the Ninja Warriors will speak at First Baptist Church in Galax, where Sam Bartlett is the pastor.
"Many of these ninjas have had obstacles to overcome and that's the message that all of our young folks need to hear, and that's what Curtis was all about," Bartlett said.
People can also run the obstacle course on Sunday from 2-6 p.m. You can find more details about the event and ticket information here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ninja-warrior-122-tickets-41287226205
Family and friends who knew Curtis said his spirit is just as alive now as it ever was.
"For us, it's not just about remembering him, although that's important, it's about the impact it's making in this generation to live inspired and make a difference in the world," Bartlett said.
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