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NBC’s The Titan Games Episode 2 Recap: Dani Speegle Victorious

CrossFit Games competitor Dani Speegle ascends Mt. Olympus!

Episode two of The Titan Games hosted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson aired on Monday, June 1st after a shocking premiere that saw Central Region athlete and 2012 London Olympic Games track and field competitor Chantae McMillan dethrone a Titan β€” 2-time Olympic gold medalist boxer Claressa Shields. McMillan assumed the position as reigning Titan to defend against future challengers.

Episode 2 remained on the competition in the Central Region β€” the other two divisions are East and West. Professional opera singer Michael Hewitt and sports medicine physician Kaleb “Doc Thor” Redden battled in the male division. CrossFit Games competitor Dani Speegle and NCAA basketball referee Nadi Carey battled in the female division.

Each pair of athletes went head-to-head in best 2-out-of-3 events to earn a chance to battle 10-time all-pro NFL offensive tackle and reigning Titan Joe Thomas and newly crowned Titan Chantae McMillan at the top of Mt. Olympus. For those unfamiliar, Mt. Olympus is essentially the winners’ arena on the show where challengers attempt to beat the Titans.

Chain Linked β€” Male Division

Hewitt and “Doc Thor” Redden β€” earning that nickname for looking like the jacked twin of Chris Hemsworth β€” went head-to-head in the first event of the evening: Chain Linked.

Chain Linked required both athletes traverse four sheets of 10-foot tall chain link fence suspended in the air to reach a platform. From there, they must turn a crank to bring two more sheets of chain link fence closer to the platform so that they can use them to cross to the Victory Chain. First man to pull the Victory Chain wins.

Redden jumped out to an early lead after exploding out of the gate and never looked back. He dominated the event sending Hewitt back to the opera house. To give credit where it is due, Hewitt did had a good performance. Had he been paired against a competitor other than Redden, it may have been good enough.

Nuts and Bolts β€” Female Division

The first challenge for the female competitors involved a pair of walls each weighed down with plates totaling 1,200lb on pegs. At the end of each peg is a wheel that competitors had to spin off so that the weight plates could be removed. Once a competitor felt the wall was light enough, they have to race to the opposite side of the wall and attempt to pull it down using rope. The first athlete to bring down their wall and pull the Victory Chain wins.

Both athletes started quickly, but a small struggle with the first few plates on Carey’s side opened the door for Speegle to gain an early edge. Carey changed up her strategy by removing multiple plates at once in an attempt to gain back the time lost.

Speegle is able to clear her wall of weight first and move to try and pull it down compelling Carey to do the same with 200lb still left on hers. Ultimately, that additional weight was too much for Carey to overcome and Speegle took the win.

Lunar Impact β€” Female Division

Both athletes race up a 25-foot ladder to opposite ends of a narrow ledge. They then run along the edge to the “Sensor Wall”. The winner is whomever able to push the wall all the way to the opponent’s end and knock them off the ledge.

Speegle had a slight slip up the ladder but was still able to reach the ledge first. A heavy impact from Carey against the wall to defend seemed, at first, like it wouldn’t be enough. But with inches to spare, Carey got a second wind and began to gain back some ground. However, at the end of the day, it wasn’t enough to overcome Speegle who found the leverage to push Carey off the ledge and punch her ticket to Mt. Olympus.

Check out the hard fought battle below from The Titan Games’ Instagram page:

Kick Out β€” Male Division

On a large vertical panel, five gigantic pistons poke through both sides. Each athlete must grab onto the beam atop the panel and kick the pistons through to the opposing side. The winner is whomever kicks out the center piston after kicking out the two initial pistons on their side.

Redden again takes the early lead making quick work of his first two pistons and turns the event into an absolute blowout. He kicked out the third piston before Hewitt kicked out his second.

Mt. Olympus

After Redden and Speegle both swept in their respective preliminary events, they headed to Mt. Olympus with the hope of claiming the title of Titan.

The course on Mt. Olympus consists of ten obstacles:

  • Starting Gates β€” weaving over and under thick triangular hurdles.
  • Box Flip β€” flipping a humungous box three times.
  • Iron Ascent β€” using only their hands, athletes pull themselves up using a lever system.
  • Log Lift β€” hauling a large log up a long flight of stairs. Note: entirely different from a strongman log lift.
  • Sky Bridge β€” lift two 120lb weights on a gear that is then spun to lower a bridge.
  • Crank Down β€” turning a heavy crank to lower a pillar that is then climbed.
  • Cage Crawl β€” a series of narrow crawl spaces built atop each other that must be crawled through.
  • Drop Zone β€” a mounting series of large panels that hinge when the athlete places their weight at the edge.
  • Ball & Chain β€” an spherical stone is dragged via chain across the arena
  • Titan Tomb β€” competitors smash a stone block to retrieve the Titan Relic (a metal relic shaped into The Titan Games logo).

Kaleb “Doc Thor” Redden vs. Joe Thomas

Through the first three obstacles, Redden and Thomas were nearly synchronized. Thomas started to take a lead at the log lift. Redden gained the edge back at Sky Bridge and extended it in the Cage Crawl and the Drop Zone.

Two varying approaches at the Ball & Chain β€” Redden pulling and Thomas driving forward with the chains over his shoulder β€” put them back at parity heading into Titan Tomb. Both athletes grabbed their sledge hammers and smashed their blocks of stone.

Thomas’ technique on the Ball & Chain gave him enough momentum to retrieve the Titan Relic first and lock it in at the finish to retain his place as a Titan on Mt. Olympus.

This defeat won’t be the last of Redden as his performance secured his spot in the Central Regional Finals for a second chance at Mt. Olympus.

Dani Speegle vs. Chantae McMillan

Both athletes stay on par with each other in the first two obstacles, but Speegle’s upper body strength is able to put her in the lead at the Iron Ascent. The pressure of falling behind seemed to make McMillan to scramble as she suffers a huge blunder on the Log Lift. She failed to safely secure the log at the top of the stairs causing is to partially slide back down. It gave Speegle a huge cushion of time to further her lead.

Speegle maintains her lead through the Sky Bridge, Crank Down, Cage Crawl, and Drop Zone. She then pulls the Ball & Chain with an ease not seen yet from any other athlete on the show, retrieves the Titan Relic and locks it in to become the new Titan of Mt. Olympus.

Speegle’s win topples McMillan who will have a chance battle back and reclaim her title next week in Central Regional Finals.

Feature image from The Titan Games’ Instagram page: @nbctitangames

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