The West Bloomfield High School freshman is one of 50 competitors on the show.
Ryan Krauthamer is a warrior. An American Ninja Warrior, to be exact.
The 14-year-old West Bloomfield High School freshman is one of about 50 competitors in the age 13-14 division in the second season of American Ninja Warrior Junior on the Universal Kids cable channel.
The show airs on Saturdays at 7 p.m., premiering Feb. 22.
It isn’t known if Ryan is in the opening episode.
And how did he do in the competition? That’s a closely guarded secret. Ryan can’t say anything publicly until an episode with him in it airs. Neither can his family members.
What Ryan can say, though, is he had a “blast” competing on the American Ninja Warrior Junior obstacle course in a downtown Los Angeles venue in July, even with 50 cameras recording the action and about 1,000 people watching.
Ryan was chosen to compete by the show’s producers from about 10,000 applicants, who each sent in audition videos and answered questions. There also are 9-10 and 11-12 age divisions. The show is a spinoff of the popular competition show American Ninja Warrior.
“I enjoy the American Ninja television shows,” Ryan said. “I think they’re cool.
“I thought I had a chance to be picked for American Ninja Warrior Junior, but I didn’t expect it. I think they were looking for a ‘back story’ from applicants. For me, it was being so happy that my grandfather is recovering from lung cancer.”
Ryan’s grandfather, David Benigsohn of Farmington Hills, was among several of Ryan’s family members who made the trip to Los Angeles to watch him compete.
Also in Ryan’s corner on his application was his background in Ninja athletics. He’s been involved in the sport, which features obstacle courses challenging strength and agility, since he was 9.
He trains and competes out of the Edge Training Center in Commerce Township and Gripz Gym in Southfield, and he teaches younger Ninja athletes at Gripz.
He’s competed at state and world Ninja competitions in New Mexico and Connecticut and will compete this month in North Carolina.
“I wouldn’t say the TV show obstacle course was more difficult than my other Ninja competitions, but it was different,” Ryan said. “The TV show course was faster with less obstacles. My other competitions are more about endurance.”
The obstacles in American Ninja Warrior Junior are modified versions of those used on the other American Ninja show to make them age-appropriate.
Carrie Krauthamer, Ryan’s mother, hopes her son’s appearance on American Ninja Warrior Junior will be an inspiration to other area children.
“Not a lot of people know about the Ninja sport,” Carrie said. “Hopefully, kids around here will see Ryan on the TV show and be inspired to give the sport a try. It’s a great sport for active, energetic kids.”
Ryan said his friends understand he can’t say anything about the show, so they don’t ask him about it.
He’s been going about his business since returning from Los Angeles, patiently waiting for the show to air.
In addition to training and competing in Ninja athletics, he played on the West Bloomfield freshman boys soccer team this past fall and he’s playing club soccer for Liverpool Football Club.
He’s a goalie in soccer.
Ryan’s father is Roy Krauthamer. Ashley, 17, is Ryan’s sister. The family attends Temple Israel.
You can check out more of Ryan’s experience at the American Ninja Warrior Junior Competition on his Instagram page: @youngninja _17