Michigan Teen Becomes One of the Youngest Ever ‘Ninja Warriors’
A teenager from Riverview has overcome obstacles to become only the second 16 year old to compete on the American Ninja Warrior TV show.
Ethan Gardulski Will Appear On Season 14 Of The NBC Competition
American Ninja Warrior is a reality TV series that runs its contestants through a obstacle course of physical challenges, with the fastest moving on. It's successful on NBC has created a community of like minded fitness buffs who love a hard challenge.
Ethan Gardulski, 15, of Riverview, south of Detroit, became one of only two contestants under the age of 19 to ever compete on the program. He competed against adults to earn a spot on the show, and taped his episode earlier this year. He is not allowed to talk about how he did.
Ethan Competes For A Good Reason
Ethan discovered his Ninja Warrior skills when he went to a Parkour school at a gym, that also had a Ninja course.
“It’s been a saving grace for him,” his mother Claire Gardulski told the News Herald. “For a kid that has anxiety, this has been great."
“The community is so warm, so welcoming, no judgement and just so supportive, and I have never seen that in any other sport.”
It came at a good time for Ethan, who was bullied at school so badly, his parents had to pull him out. He now goes to school online, and attends college classes at a local community college.
Ethan dedicates his Ninja efforts to publicize UMatter, which connects teens to help them help each other to overcome difficulties in life.
Here's a look a typical run on the Ninja Warrior show:
'Just Stay Calm And Enjoy It'
Ethan trains five to six days a week at the Gripz Gym in Southfield. While his mom, Claire, says he has a competitive drive, Ethan is pretty chill about competing.
“I try to stay as calm as possible, and tell myself I am going to go have fun,” he told the News Herald. “That is what it is all about – having fun out there.”
And he adds, it's never too late to become a Ninja Warrior. “I have seen people start at the age of 65, so, you can start at any age.”
Well, maybe it's time for me to hit the gym to become an elderly Ninja Warrior.
I hope Ethan did well in his time on the TV series, which airs beginning June 6 on NBC, available in Grand Rapids on WOOD-TV, Channel 8.
To make a donation to Ethan Gardulski’s platform, teen mental health, through UMatter, which is part of Friendship Circle, go to friendshipcircle.org/ethan.
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