The star honors the everyday heroes who battle it out with professional athletes on NBC's hit series The Titan Games

By Julie Jordan
July 06, 2020 12:18 PM
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Steve Dietl/NBC

For Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, producing the second season of his hit NBC athletic-competition series The Titan Games became a way of paying tribute to the country’s real-life heroes.

“I assembled an amazing group of people,” says the actor, 48, who also hosts the show.

“Doctors, nurses, teachers, veterans, all who happen to be incredible athletes with extraordinary stories.”

These four finalists are battling against professional athletes for $100,000 and the title of Titan.

William Sutton

“Hard work and determination are the cornerstones of what it means to be a Titan,” says Johnson of Sutton, 26, a Trenton, North Carolina, native and agricultural teacher and JV basketball coach at Croatan High School in Carteret County.

Danny Ventrella/NBC

“Will brings these values to the arena and to the classroom of his students. He is country strong and has everything it takes to be an educator, a leader, and a Titan."

Shantal Athill

Only the second female firefighter at her station in Orange, New Jersey, Athill, 29, was hit by a car in 2019 and recovered to get back to work.

Danny Ventrella/NBC

“It takes a tremendous amount of heart, sweat and discipline to serve as a firefighter, especially in one of the areas of our country hardest hit by this pandemic,” says Johnson. “Shantal has been on the front lines protecting her community, she has the mana of a Titan, and my admiration."

Haley Johnson

This 25-year-old challenger is a first lieutenant currently serving in the U.S Army stationed in Georgia. A first-generation college student she takes inspiration from her dad, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2019 and died a month before filming.

Danny Ventrella/NBC

“Haley is a fighter. She's got grit, gumption and worked incredibly hard to get to where she is today,” the host says. "Haley didn’t let her humble beginnings hold her back from earning her nursing degree on a scholarship from the Army. After losing her dad in 2019, she turned that sadness into inspiration to keep achieving, that’s Titan spirit."

Exodus Rogers

A deputy probation assistant for the Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility,  Rogers, 33, was inspired by his mother, who “has fostered over 60 kids in need,” Johnson says.

Danny Ventrella/NBC

“Exodus has the heart and soul of a Titan, exhibited in his generosity of spirit. He displays the same optimism and kindness as his mom through his work with at-risk youth in his hometown of Sacramento. Exodus’ passion for helping others is both inspiring and exemplary."

The Titan Games airs Mondays on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.