Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ninja Warriors Have What it Takes

My husband recently got me hooked on G4’s T.V. show, Ninja Warrior. Part reality TV, part game show and part sporting event, picture MXC (Most Extreme Elimination Challenge) without the inane commentary.

In the show, called Sasuke in Japan, competitors try to complete impossible-looking obstacle courses under insane time limits. When the competitors fail and fall into the icy cold, muddy water below, it’s actually quite amusing. When they complete the course, hitting the buzzer with mere fractions of a second left, it can be as exciting as Game 7 of the World Series.

My husband and I aren’t into organized sports. But get us going with this show and you’ll see us cheering, yelling at the screen, “Hurry, hurry, you’re running out of TIME!” and “Monday-morning quarterbacking” their strategies and decisions like insane sports fanatics.

What really stands out, however, about the athletes on the show (and the competitors are true athletes—lean, fast, strong, muscled and disciplined) is their sportsmanship.

They cheer each other on, share tips and advice, and leave the course with a smile regardless of the outcome. I watched one of the “Ninja Warrior All-stars”, Nagano, who has completed the final stage of the course twice in his career, fail at the end of Stage One last night. Incidentally, out of 100 competitors, only two completed the stage!

Nagano’s hands slipped off the rope and he plunged into the icy water. When he emerged a second later, he was smiling. Smiling and laughing! He knew he did his best, and he’d have other opportunities in the future.

Perhaps the structure of the competition, which allows more than one winner, promotes good sportsmanship. It’s not a “him or me” proposition. The athletes are competing against the course, not each other. Whatever the reason, these athletes win— and lose—with grace… something I don’t see often enough here in the states.

It’s heartwarming to see athletes trying their best, supporting each other and, to quote a friend of mine, “shaking hands, playing hard, making friends and remembering it is just a game!”


Virginia Lee said...

That does sound like fun, Dawn.

We're kind of crazy over college basketball at my house. My mom is an avid UNC and ACC fan. She ruined me decades ago. We do enjoy it, however. Lots even. :D

plaidearthworm said...

Ninja Warrior W00000! Love it, love it, love it. Was panicking last week because we had a NaNoWriMo write-in, and they were running a whole evening of fresh NW stuff, including the Americans sent over from G4. Luckily, they ran it again later in the evening. We love all the All-Stars, and it's really hard to avoid the Wiki site on NW, because they list who won the competition before it is aired on G4. Ah, the temptation!

Dawn Allcot said...

Yes Plaid! No fear if you miss an episode...they seem to run the show CONSTANTLY!

I was teasing hubby that all our television is capable of playing is Ninja Warrior and Naruto (an anime on Cartoon Network). I walk in and ask, "What's on? Is it Naruto or Ninja now?"

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