Columbus couple starts new life together after meeting, competing on ‘The Titan Games’
By Alex Jones | July 22, 2020 at 4:20 PM EDT - Updated July 23 at 1:37 AM
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Just six months ago, life for Blake Wright and Haley Johnson looked nothing like it does today. Since January the pair has met, lived through a global pandemic, gotten married, gotten pregnant with their first child and competed on a national television show.
Wright and Johnson met while both were being cast for ‘The Titan Games,’ which is hosted and executive produced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The show divides competitors into three regions, searching for a male and female athlete to crown the regional Titan before the Titans of each region compete to determine the ultimate Titan.
Johnson, a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and Registered Nurse stationed at Fort Benning, remains in the competition as the current reigning Titan of the East Region.
She bested her preliminary competitor before facing off against, and beating, Olympic gold medal snowboarder Hannah Teter, Dwayne Johnson’s hand-selected professional Titan, on Mount Olympus, the obstacle course that crowns Titans.
The Fort Benning nurse has since defended her title once, but her battle isn’t over, as she’ll have to defend her title a couple more times if she wants to remain the Titan of the East.
Her now-husband Wright, whose love for chocolate milk was highlighted, wasn’t as fortunate during his stint on the show.
Wright, who was then a middle school teacher and football coach living in Texas, appeared on the second season’s premiere episode where he ultimately fell to his preliminary competitor, not making it to Mount Olympus.
“Honestly at the end of it all, I really feel like I won it. Because I got a beautiful wife out of it and we’re having a family and I have a whole new trajectory for my life right now that would not have been possible because of the games. So, yeah, while I didn’t win it all, I really got something out of it that no one else did. And I think that’s a really big thing to hold onto for me, because I would rather have this than the title,” said Wright.
When the school year begins, in whichever form it does, Wright will be working as a teacher and football coach at Manchester Middle School in Manchester, Ga.
First Lt. Johnson is relatively new to the Chattahoochee Valley, being stationed here in early October 2019 in a “compassionate reassignment,” just after her father got sick. Ft. Benning and Ft. Knox, Ky. are equidistant from her family’s home outside of Chattanooga, Tenn.
“I reached out to the Army and said, ‘Hey, this is what’s happening. Is there any way I can be stationed in Kentucky or Georgia to be closer to my family?’ because his prognosis was very poor. And they basically said, ‘Absolutely, we’ll get you there in about a week.’ And so they just did everything they could for me. I can’t be more thankful,” said Johnson.
Just three and a half months after his diagnosis, Johnson’s father passed away.
“There were lots of nights or weeks where he would end up working 80 hours a week because he would end up staying the night in his office, and things like that. So I definitely think that watching him be so selfless for us shaped who I am and who I wanted to be. I knew he did everything for us...so I just wanted to make sure that he knew that what he did and what he sacrificed for us was for a reason,” said Johnson.
While times have been tough in the past, Johnson says she and her family are in a better place now than they once were.
“I have come to believe that regardless of where you start, no matter how humble, you dictate where you go in life. No one is stopping you from bettering yourself and I think that you just can’t blame anyone else for what you do,” said Johnson.
To help offset the costs of Johnson’s father’s medical costs, click here.
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