With Netflix’s ‘Muscles & Mayhem: An Unauthorized Story of American Gladiators’ chronicling the rise and fall of the incredible titular 1990s game show, we get a true insight into its actuality. After all, it incorporates not just archival footage but also first-hand accounts from significant people to really underscore every way in which it embodied authenticity, courage, and innovation. Amongst those to actually feature here was actually 5-time contender Peggy Odita-Hodel — so now, if you simply wish to learn more about her as well as her current status, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Peggy Odita-Hodel?
Although a native of Columbus, Ohio, Peggy has been a proud California resident since she first stepped foot into the state as a late teen to attend Standford University as an Art Design major. However, little did she realize it would be her passion for track sports and basketball that would soon turn her world upside down, especially after she gained experience as a collegiate athlete. “I watched ‘American Gladiators’ on TV like most people did during the ’80s and ’90s,” the student-turned-sales manager candidly stated in the original production. “I thought I could do that.”
Peggy added, “They were advertising, ‘Hey, if you want to be on ‘American Gladiators,’ you can come to these locations [to audition as a contestant].’ They were looking for some international people and because I have dual citizenship — I’m Nigerian and American — I didn’t have to try out or anything… Finding international people locally was kind of difficult at the time, and I ended up winning that one.” The prize money at the time of her season, season 5, in 1993 was an alluring $25,000, which was obviously a big deal for the 20-something-year-old, so she decided to try out for the show again.
The truth is producers initially told Peggy they don’t usually take people who’ve already participated in the series before, let alone won, but one day she suddenly got a call saying they want her back. “I was on [American Gladiators] five times,” she elucidated in the documentary. “I won two ‘International’ shows, two ‘Champion of Champions’ shows, and one main event show,” of which she loved every second. Therefore, when it was time to move on for good, she did so happily and with no regrets because she knew in her heart she’d played for the right reasons while giving each performance her all.
Where is Peggy Odita-Hodel Now?
“I’m so surprised when people come up to me,” Peggy said in the Netflix original. “… They’re kinda looking at me, and they’re like bumping their friends, and then they shyly come up and say, ‘Hey, were you on ‘American Gladiators?’ It’s shocking to me, honestly. ‘Cause it was so long ago. I feel like it’s become this cult classic type of thing.” She’s actually not wrong, and the reason people can recognize her even now is that she left as much of a mark on fans as the series did with her competitive yet fair play at every step of the way — the fact she often beat Lori “Ice” Fetrick is also unforgettable.
Coming to Peggy’s current standing, well, she has since moved on to establish a career as an entrepreneur, designer, as well as cook, all the while being a happily married and proud mother. The Huntington Beach, California, resident is reportedly the Owner-Principal Interior Designer at Urban Safari Design, a company she’d launched in 2005 to bring an organically prominent, contemporary aesthetic to indoor spaces through texture, color, and clean lines. As if that’s not enough, this Certified Interior Designer is even an Allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers and a National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) member, plus she’s the Owner of Monthly Meals Express.