Hitting the buzzer – SRQist :: SRQ Magazine article by Chloe Cuyler

Enzo Deferrari Wilson goes from an ordinary teenager to American Ninja Warrior history.

Enzo Deferrari Wilson trains until dark in the garden of his family home. Photo by West Roberts.

Learn to drive. Go on a first date. These are the first experiences of ordinary teenagers. Not Enzo Deferrari Wilson. This 15-year-old is anything but ordinary, becoming the youngest competitor ever American ninja warrior. Enzo, a Palm Harbor native who attends NewGate School remotely in Sarasota, has experienced a series of unimaginable firsts in American ninja warrior. The fastest rookie and teenage contestant from the first episode. Youngest person to make it to Las Vegas and the National Finals. Youngest to hit the buzzer and advance to Stage Two (of four) of the National Finals.

How exactly did all these superlatives come about? How do you go from being a normal teenager – going to high school and studying – to being a high-flying, record-breaking Ninja Warrior competitor? It all started 10 years ago, when Enzo was only 5 years old. His grandmother introduced him to the hit NBC TV show American ninja warrior and it was love at first sight. “From the moment I saw the show, I was hooked,” he says. “I knew I wanted to be on it when I was growing up.” With that goal in mind, Enzo began his journey into elite athletics at the age of 11 – training hard at Jungle Gym in Pinellas Park and Obstacle Ninja Academy in Orlando – and soon afterwards, he competed in his first steeplechase competition in Bradenton.

The teenage ninja never predicted that just a decade later, his dream of being on his favorite show would become a reality. But as the age limit for the show began to steadily decrease from 21 to 19, and then finally to 15, it became clear that it could happen sooner rather than later. And so on, after just four years of hard work and dedication, Enzo became the youngest competitor to ever step onto the stage of American ninja warrior, setting incredible records and creating memories that he still admits are surreal. His favorite would be to hit the buzzer in the qualifying round of Stage One in Las Vegas. “It’s a tough course,” he said. “It eliminates some of the best ninjas. So to be able to complete this and stand on the platform with the buzzer, thinking back to what I had just done – knowing that I had just completed this course – was the craziest feeling of my life.

And if competing against adults in an action-packed high-flying spectacle, when he’s not even old enough to get a driver’s license, wasn’t already an incredible feat, Enzo is also the founder of ONE (Ocean Needs Everyone), an ocean conservation program dedicated to cleaning up our beautiful beaches and raising awareness about the subject. No matter how old we are, Enzo reminds us that having doubts about reaching our full potential will only keep us from hitting our own buzzer. “If to be sure American ninja warrior at 15 proved everything to me, he says, is that whatever you dream of doing, anything is possible. If you don’t try, there’s a 100% chance you’ll fail. »

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