By Chuck Reherman
Every kid wants to act out their favorite television character or heroes.
For Yukon’s Oliver Schob, he’s getting to live his.
Oliver, a fifth grader at Independence Elementary School, fell in love with watching American Ninja Warriors on television. And, when he found out there were competitions he could compete in at his age level, he didn’t hesitate to jump in to the contests.
And, he has excelled at them ever since.
Oliver has competed in area competitions at several locations this season including Ardmore, Edmond, and Stillwater, placing second, first and first in his age group, respectively. That qualified him to compete in the regional competition earlier this month in Republic, MO.
He went on to place third in the regional. The top three competitors at each regional competition move on to Worlds where competitors of all ages from all over the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom will vie for the title of UNAA World Champion.
He also placed fourth in the Austin, TX regional and will be competing at the Gauntlet Fitness Regional in Ardmore on June 8.
Gauntlet Fitness is where he started his ninja journey almost four years ago.
“I am a big fan of the American Ninja Warrior show and that got me interested in wanting to compete,” Oliver said. “We went to a gym in Ardmore (where he lived at the time), found out about it through the coach a the gym and wanted to compete in it.
“We do the same thing as they do on the television show, just not as long of a course or as difficult,” he said. “I like the nunchuks obstacle. It is a cylinder hanging from a bar and you have to hold onto it. I like the cannonball obstacle. There is a lot of jumping from one to another, a lot of balance. I don’t really like the balance part, but I like the lashay, where you have both hands on a bar, swing and let go and grab onto another bar.”
He hasn’t found a ninja home since the family moved to Yukon last summer, so he trains on equipment in the garage, and he also climbs at Threshold Climbing Gym in north OKC.
“When we couldn’t find a gym, we built a structure with a bunch of bars and stuff and I do pullups everyday and climb,” Oliver said. “We go to the climbing gym to help give me strength. A lot of climbers are successful ninja warriors, because the elements are a lot of problem solving.”
Oliver has been competing for nearly four years and went to the World Competition last year and placed fourth in the 6-9 age group). He trains on the average of two hours a day in his garage and then at the climbing gym.
This will be Oliver’s 2nd trip to the World Finals. The finals this year will be in Minnesota from July 26-28.
The UNAA World Series is composed of judged competitions based on performance and time. The series allows athletes of all abilities to compete, and the top athletes in the sport are provided a chance to make a livelihood doing what they love, on a grand stage.” Hundreds of kids and adults compete in this series each year.
By Chuck Reherman