Every Friday from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, I designate time in my busy schedule to view the hit NBC show, American Ninja Warrior. On this show, contestants compete to climb Mount Midoriyama, a mountain composed of assorted physical challenges, for a prize of $500,000. As I watched a rerun of the second part of the Denver qualifying challenge that originally aired last October, I noticed something quite peculiar about the popular program: there were no Georgetown Day School contestants on the show. Now, there are only two ways that this atrocity could have come to pass; either by the incompetence of the Georgetown Day American Ninja Warrior preparation team or by the bias against GDS students in the casting of the show. I will explore both of these possibilities and, hopefully by the end of this article, I will reach a conclusion.
Walking down the halls of Georgetown Day School, I noticed no ninja obstacles adorning the white painted walls. No salmon ladder, no quintuple steps, not even a log swing was present in the “educational facility.” I went straight to Taylor Brown with my grievances. “We as a department have been working to increase the amount of contestants on the popular NBC show, American Ninja Warrior, and we will notify the school once we have found success,” he told me. I was suspicious of his monotone voice. I also thought it was strange that he was reading smudged pen writing off of his hand. When I asked about the pre-written message, I was commanded to leave the weight room at once. I can only infer that the Georgetown Day School American Ninja Warrior preparation team has not made any headway and has reached a point of no return.
For the purposes of a thorough investigation, I will also explore the other side of the argument. Earlier this month, I received an anonymous email saying, “I know what you’re doing, and I want to help. Do some research on the relationship between GDS and AGB.” Fans of the show will quickly recognize the acronym “AGB” as being the co-host of American Ninja Warrior, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila. Gbaja-Biamila was seen in late 2016 with co-host Matt Iseman saying “I bet I’ll never see a Georgetown Day student successfully climb Mount Midoriyama. Even if one tried, I would find a way to stop them.” Further research proves that Gbaja-Biamila attended Sidwell Friends School, a known rival to Georgetown Day School. Within the American Ninja Warrior network, there is discrimination of GDS students which is unfair to Mount Midoriyama hopefuls.
Through my intense research. I have concluded that there are many factors contributing to the lack of GDS student American Ninja Warrior participants. Maybe one day, we can see past our differences and climb Mount Midoriyama hand-in-hand.
By Cole Wright-Schaner ’19