Exclusive: Get to know the 12 athletes including a four-time Mr. Universe, a stunt double, a gymnast, and a structural engineer (??) who are ready to kick your ass. (Tune in Sunday, Jan. 6, on NBC to see them in action.)
GLADIATOR NAME Titan
ROAD TO DESTRUCTION Four-time Mr. Universe Mike O'Hearn, 33, is the Gladiator team captain. He was cast as the first alternate in the original series name: Thor but never saw screen time. Though the 6'3'', 260-lb. (lifetime drug-free) bodybuilding legend could've walked into the finals in 2007, he insisted on trying out like everyone else and set multiple Gladiator records including 35 pull-ups in 30 seconds. Jesus. ''He had nothing to do with it, but I think he was there,'' O'Hearn quips. Okay, even his wit is quick.
YOU DON'T WANT TO MEET HIM IN... Joust. Hulk Hogan, who hosts the show with Laila Ali, calls that event ''The House Titan Built.'' Why? Titan's psych-out abilities. ''Yesterday, I set up as a southpaw,'' O'Hearn says, ''and the guy goes, 'Wow, you're a southpaw?' 'Absolutely.' When the countdown got to two, I stood up, reversed the grip, and then bop. You gotta be smart. I didn't want to get my hair wet.''
Image Credit: Mitchell Haaseth