Olympians could soon face the iconic Ninja Warrior obstacle course. Format owner Tokyo Broadcasting System Television (TBS) has revealed it is working with several partners to test whether it could be a fifth discipline of the Modern Pentathlon at the 2028 Olympic Games in LA.
According to the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) — which is working with TBS, World Obstacle, the Fédération Internationale de Sports d’Obstacles (FISO) on the proposal — two types of obstacle sports are being tested, with one being the ‘ninja competition’ popularized by the Ninja Warrior (Japanese title Sasuke).
In the U.S. American Ninja Warrior is currently in its 14th season, while ITV in the UK is gearing up for its first season in three years. In total, 20 international versions of the show, which originated on Japanese network TBS, exist around the world.
A first test competition is being held in Ankara, Turkey today and tomorrow as a collaboration between UIPM and FISO, immediately following the the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Cup Final in Ankara.
UIPM and FISO have requested TBS provides a Ninja Warrior obstacle course for use as a demonstration at the event. This course is currently used to film local versions for France, Poland and other European countries. The Wall Flip, Parallel Pipes, Wind Chimes and Tire Swing obstacles will feature.
Modern Pentathlon is an Olympic sport consisting of five disciplines: fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, laser pistol shooting and running. The obstacle course would replace the riding discipline.
Miho Takashima, who handles the format globally, said:
“Sasuke/Ninja Warrior, which continues to win fans around the world, represents the culmination of TBS’s long history of content development. We look forward to working with the UIPM and FISO to further expand the possibilities of obstacle racing.”