NBC’s American Ninja Warrior took over Bayfront Park to tape a Miami edition of the popular show. If you watched Wednesday’s show, you may have noticed Gabe Stewart, a coach and teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, took over the course and brought a whole new meaning to MSD Strong.
Stewart, 23, is a first year 10th grade world history teacher and competed in one of the most challenging obstacle courses in the world.
The show is in its 10th season and held its qualifying rounds in Bayfront Park, just about 50 miles from Parkland. The show invited Stoneman Douglas to pay tribute.
“I’m doing alright. You know, school is still an everyday battle. There are good days and bad days. But like I said, we’re a strong community, we’re all working together, we’re all leaning on each other,” said Stewart.
Stewart was inside the school when the shots were fired and helped bring students to safety.
“I’m running up and down the hallway trying to figure out, trying to get some teacher to let me in the door. One teacher finally let me in, I told her I had 20 kids around the corner, can they come in. Gave them the go, they sprinted down the hallway and got them in there,” said Stewart.
And like on American Ninja Warrior, Stewart had his own obstacles in life.
“Personally, I’ve been through a lot already in my life. I’m from Baltimore and I lost my parents. One was a drug addict, my father wasn’t there. And I got adopted at 16 so I’ve already been through a lot of tragedy in my life and this is just another step in everybody’s life. All 3,000 of us have learned a life experience that not many people have been through,” said Stewart.
Stewart sent a message of encouragement to MSD students and anyone else facing challenges.
“We can still have fun even after tragedy. We can all still have a good time and enjoy life. Don’t take this as a negative thing, take it as a life experience,” said Stewart.
Stewart said he trained for just two weeks prior to being on the show.