MANCHESTER, NH — Hunter Gebo likes to fly. He flies around the gym, he flies around the living room. This weekend he is flying to North Carolina, and this time he will be in an airplane.
Hunter is a ninja. The 7-year-old second-grader at Green Acres Elementary in Manchester, will be traveling to Greensboro, NC, on February 21-23 to compete in the National Ninja League World Championships.
He is a member of the Stealth Squad at USA Ninja Challenge in Manchester. He has been competing in National Ninja League Season V competitions all year. In January he qualified for the World Championships during a regional competition in Connecticut held at the gym of American Ninja Warrior Champion Drew Dreschel.
What led Hunter to embrace the ninja life? Hunter was born premature, weighing just over 2 pounds. He was receiving occupational and physical therapy and his mother, Nancy Glynn, was looking for something to augment those strength-building activities. A friend suggested ninja training.
“A week before his fourth birthday he tried his first ninja class and he never looked back,” Glynn said. Hunter took quickly to the sport, leading the family to start attending competitions and constructing ad hoc obstacle courses in their apartment.
Life with a ninja can be a little unnerving. Glynn says there are times when she enters a room and she doesn’t know he is there. “I’ll be looking on the floor and I won’t see him, then I’ll look up and I’ll see him hanging from something.”
Ninja obstacles are not the only obstacles Hunter has conquered. He was born with a condition called Microtia which translates to “little ear.” He has a deformed ear on his left side and no ear canal, leading him to experience significant hearing loss. Hunter has been a part of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program in the Manchester school district since the age of 3.
This is his first time competing at such a large event. Thousands of competitors will be climbing, running, jumping, and swinging through the challenging obstacle courses at the Special Events Center in Greensboro. Hunter will be competing against nearly 300 other youths in the 6-8 age division. Glynn says he doesn’t get nervous. He takes it all in stride.
Hunter will take his first run at the obstacle course on Sunday. He will also have the opportunity to compete in skills competitions on ladders, ledges and lache.