Rochester's K9 Ninja advances on to American Ninja Warrior semifinals

Roo Yori, a Rochester resident and a veteran competitor on American Ninja Warrior, has advanced to the semifinals, which he believes will air in four weeks.

Roo Yori.jpeg
Roo Yori, a Rochester resident, talks with friends and family at Wildwood Sports Bar and Grill Monday, June 20, 2022, after watching the episode of him competing on the show American Ninja Warrior.
Erich Fisher / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — Rochester's K9 Ninja isn't going anywhere, except to the next round.

Roo Yori, a Rochester resident and veteran competitor on American Ninja Warrior , watched with friends and family at Wildwood Sports Bar and Grill Monday, June 20, 2022, when he seemingly cruised through the qualifier round to advance to the show's semifinal.

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While the episode was filmed months prior to its airing and Yori had to keep the results hidden, the secret was finally out Monday as Yori's table erupted in cheers watching him scale the 14.5-foot wall and slam his hand down on the button.

"It's hard to keep it a secret this long, you're kind of bursting with it," Yori said. "And so when you're with your friends and family, they're all watching and cheering you can kind of join in them in the cheering and the celebration. So, it's kind of a unique experience, but it's a lot of fun and I really appreciate all the support that everybody gives. ... It's been a great experience."

Going into his seventh appearance on American Ninja Warrior, Yori was "excited" about his chances of advancing as he thought the course matched his strengths.


"I thought the course looked awesome. There are some courses that you look at, and you get worried about," he said. "This one I was excited about because I thought they were all doable for me in particular, and they just looked like fun obstacles."

Roo Yori American Ninja Warrior
Roo Yori trains for American Ninja Warrior, he sits for a portrait in front of his hand built training structure in his backyard in Rochester on Saturday, June 18, 2022.
Tucker Allen Covey / Post Bulletin

Yori's run through the course didn't come without any bumps along the way, however. While swinging through the kickboards — where the contestants had to use their legs to kick boards in the air to swing across the water with — Yori hit his head on the board above him. He had enough awareness, though, to still grab the board and hold on to avoid falling into the water below.

"I was a little overzealous on that last one, but I wanted to make sure I got it," Yori said. "I just remember feeling it, clamping down, dropping down (onto the platform), opening my eyes and I'm like, 'I'm there.' I got so pumped up because I still made the grab."

Yori cruised through the last obstacle of the course before he scaled the 14.5-foot wall to advance to the semifinals. He said his semifinal episode has already been filmed but is unsure when it will air, predicting it would be in four weeks.

Even though he enjoys the thrill of the competition, Yori never lets himself forget why he's there in the first place. The show gives Yori a platform to advocate for his nonprofit the Wallace the Pit Bull foundation which aims at raising a total of $100,000 to help improve the lives of shelter dogs.

"The fact that I do it in the memory of Wallace and Hector and all our other dogs that have passed away. You know, you can't beat it," he said.

Erich is a digital content producer at the Post Bulletin where he creates content for the Post Bulletin's digital platforms. Before he moved to Rochester, Erich worked as a sports reporter for covering the University of Illinois' athletic programs in Champaign, Illinois. Readers can reach Erich at 507-285-7681 or
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