October 10, 2020
Lee’s Summit’s Donovan Metoyer, returned to the big stage of American Ninja Warrior Season 12 on September 14th. With an impressive round one, he’s made it to the semi finals on October 12th. If you have seen Donovan compete, you may be familiar with his attire. If not, he’s one sight to see! He flies through obstacles donning a three-piece suit and has been titled “The Classy Ninja.” Off the screen, Donovan is the Program Director and cofounder of Motus Ninjas in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
Donovan did not disappoint on his first-round run. “With any competition, running early is my favorite. For the first time, I was the 4th person to run the course and the 1st person to finish! Something about setting the bar for the rest of the competitors and hitting my first buzzer for my brother will always hold a special place with me. The experience is a lot more enjoyable when you can walk away dry. Believe it or not, this is my first time making it up a warped wall on the show. The toughest thing about being on the set is after you finish the course, you’re gasping for air and they want to do an interview with you, and you must talk and compose yourself while trying to catch your breath.”
The goal of hitting a buzzer for Donovan’s brother started when he made his first season appearance on ANW in 2013. His brother had become sick and Donovan was looking for any way to help motivate him to fight. “I wanted to give him a reason to fight for better health. He didn’t attend my first season, but he was at the next two tapings in St. Louis (2014) and Kansas City (2015). All 3 times I failed to win American Ninja Warrior and to give him the motivation he needed to win his fight. Sadly, later that year, he passed away and I felt that it was my fault and that I let him down. That’s why hitting that buzzer this year was so important,” explained Donovan.
In the spring of 2020 ninjas across the country experienced much of what the world is experiencing. Social distancing caused gyms to shut down, people to stay home, and the rumor of ANW12 not happening in 2020. Prior to quarantine, Donovan was training daily in preparation of the chance he would get “the call” for Season 12. As Motus Ninjas temporarily shut down and local competitions stopped, postponement of ANW12 happened. Donovan quickly stumbled into a lack of motivation to continue training for a show he yet wasn’t sure he would be selected. “I decided to work out one day and realized that I lost some strength and couldn’t do basic ninja activities. Defeated, I started training again to regain what I lost. Fortunately, in the middle of this training, I received a call for season 12 of American Ninja Warrior” said Donovan. This was the call Donovan had been waiting for since 2017, when he made it to the National Finals in Las Vegas during season 9. From that moment in time, he committed to going back to the dedicated ninja he has always been. He trained daily making sure every session contributed to the end goal of hitting the all famous buzzer.
Early in July 2020 Donovan made the short trip to St. Louis, where ANW12 chose as their solo location, to compete amongst the best ninjas in the nation. “Competing during the pandemic was interesting. We got tested for COVID before we arrived on set. Once we arrived on set, we received another COVID test. ANW did a great job of making sure everyone stayed safe once we got there. We basically had an entire Marriott hotel to ourselves and they kept everything (to the best of their abilities) clean and sanitary. There was a lot more waiting around than usual this year due to COVID. If you advanced to the next round you would have to receive another COVID test and wait two days for your results in order to compete again. They didn’t want us going out so DoorDash and GrubHub were your best options for getting food, so it was a bit different. The runs on the course were a lot faster this year since it was indoors. I would have loved to have a crowd there to amp me up on my runs when it got difficult. However, I also did feel very focused and calm like I was in a training session, since it was just me and the course. It is a very enjoyable season and I can’t wait for you all to watch!” said Donovan.
Be sure to tune in for Donovan’s semifinal run on October 12th, 8/7 Central on NBC
Motus Ninjas opened in 2018 as Kansas City’s largest Ninja Warrior Facility and located in Lee’s Summit.
Their goal is to provide a positive environment for ninjas to be courageous and never give up. Motus offers training for ninjas aged 4 and up, ranging all skills levels. Ninjas can train for fun or train to compete on American Ninja Warrior Jr or American Ninja Warrior. Motus Ninjas roots itself in 6 Core Values: Collaborative Teamwork, Continuous Improvement, Customer Commitment, Healthy Balanced Living, Positive Fun Environment, and Pursue Passion & Purpose. Motus has committed to maintaining a healthy training environment in their facility during the pandemic. By maintaining strict equipment cleanings in between classes, creating class sizes to optimize social distancing, mask requirements for staff, promoting good hygiene and hand washing it has allowed them to continue helping local ninjas reach their goals. Motus Ninjas is located at 725 NW Commerce Drive, Lee’s Summit, MO 64086 (816) 347-8008. Visit: https://motusninjas.com/ You can follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/motusninjas/ Motus Ninjas