Pacific alumnus runner-up in Forged in Fire reality show

Gary Bird

Alumnus Gary Bird ’91 was a runner-up on the popular History Channel reality show Forged in Fire.

Gary Bird ’91 (Marketing) was pleased with his runner-up finish in the History Channel reality show “Forged in Fire.” Bird competed in the show’s special two-episode “Summer Forging Games” competition. 

The competition began with four bladesmiths who were challenged to make knives or historic weapons from raw steel. 

One competitor was eliminated in the first week, and Bird trailed significantly among the three remaining bladesmiths going into the last two challenges on the Aug. 19 telecast. But he won the last challenge to vault into second place. 

“I can’t believe I won the final challenge, but overall I am pleased. I pushed myself harder than I ever have before,” he said on the show. “It was an amazing journey.”

In the final challenge, each competitor chose one of four historic weapons to construct. Bird opted for the Kachin Dao, a hunting sword used by the Kachin tribe in ancient Burma.

“Gary’s blade was not the prettiest, but it did exactly what we asked it to do,” said show judge David Baker, an expert on ancient weapons. “It had a very good edge and cut beautifully.” 

Chad Kennedy of Wichita Falls, Texas, won the “Summer Forging Games” with 84 points. Bird had 52 and Matt Bingaman of Placerville finished third with 38. 

Bird is an information technology specialist for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. He has a side business—and passion—as a bladesmith. His work can be seen on Instagram (@rivercitybladeworks).