Gary Weiland, a Denton firefighter who had his leg amputated, is scheduled to compete on television’s hit competition show, American Ninja Warrior. 

According to Ninja Guide, Weiland is competing for his spot on Season 14 of American Ninja Warrior. Qualifiers are being held from March 20 through March 24 at the AlamoDome in San Antonio. 

In an interview with NBC DFW, Gary Weiland confirmed he will be at the qualifiers on March 23. Weiland said, “People are like, man, you’ve been training three hours a day, seven days a week getting ready for American Ninja Warrior. And I’m like, man, I’m 42 years old! I work out for two hours, and I’m exhausted for three days! What do you mean?”

“If I win it, great. A million dollars. I could pay off a couple of bills with that. But honestly, I’m stoked to be able to get on the big stage and share with people a little bit about my story and how I was able to adapt and overcome,” Gary Weiland said. 

Over two hundred contestants are confirmed to compete for a spot on Season 14. After the qualifiers, the semifinals are April 8 through April 11 in Los Angeles. Then the national finals are on May 14 through May 17 in Las Vegas. 

Gary Weiland’s amputation, right below the knee, was due to a complication after knee surgery in 2018. According to Fire Rescue 1, Gary Weiland said, “Waking up in a hospital bed, the doctor saying we’re going to have to amputate your leg, which is pretty unbelievable considering I was just running around on the football field, throwing a ball with the kids, and having a great time. It was tough to swallow.”

Two days later, he told Fire Chief Kenneth Hedges and the rest of his fellow firefighters that he would be back to full duty.

Before the incident, he was a firefighter for seven years, according to Gary Weiland’s website. After the amputation, he returned to work full-time, ten months and six days later, with no restrictions. 

After losing his leg, the father of four gained new motivation in many areas throughout his life. He became an author for a children’s book titled Fischer’s Accident. “You’re not going to believe this, but it’s about a firefighter who gets injured on the job and returns to duty,” Gary Weiland said. 

He is also a motivational speaker. “Everyone goes through adversity. How you respond to that adversity determines your character,” his website states. Weiland is a USA Sitting Volleyball High-Performance Team and USA ParaBeach Volleyball Team member. 

He received the ServPro First Responder of the Year Award, and his Fire Chief gave him the Chief’s Distinction Award. 

Within the Ultimate Ninja Athlete Association and the National Ninja League, Gary Weiland qualified for the World Finals, adding to his ninja training for American Ninja Warrior. 

He refers to himself as “FAN-Man,” meaning Firefighter Amputee Ninja, and even wears his own ninja suit. 

“Being fearless doesn’t mean you don’t have fears. Being fearless means having the faith and fortitude to face life’s challenges with the power and passion that is inside of you,” his website states.