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Nearly nailing the ninja dream

Senior Woodrow Hazel injures leg at competition

Senior+Woodrow+Hazel+trains+to+compete+at+a+gym+in+Dallas.+Courtesy+of+Tjay+Hazel.+
Senior Woodrow Hazel trains to compete at a gym in Dallas. Courtesy of Tjay Hazel.

Senior Woodrow Hazel trains to compete at a gym in Dallas. Courtesy of Tjay Hazel.

Photo by Tjay Hazel

Photo by Tjay Hazel

Senior Woodrow Hazel trains to compete at a gym in Dallas. Courtesy of Tjay Hazel.

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His hands and feet grip for balance as he propels himself along the infamous spider wall. Finally toward the end, he leaps onto the trampoline but suddenly a snap ensues and he proceeds to fall face first into the water. His shin shatters and his dream of finishing the “American Ninja Warrior” course has vanished.

“I was doing really well,” senior Woodrow Hazel said. “I got through the first and second obstacle and [then there was] the third obstacle. I was going through the spider wall and there was a trampoline below me that I had to jump on to. I didn’t hit the trampoline good enough so I basically snapped my shin in half just by not looking at my feet. I should have looked at my feet.”

Usually when a splash occurs, it indicates that a competitor has failed the course. Once 10 people rushed over, fans started to realize something had gone wrong.

Well at first we didn’t really know what he did,” Woodrow’s mother Jolene Hazel said. “We thought the trampoline snapped [when] he jumped on. It wasn’t till we saw people rushing over, that we realized he had hurt himself. Then we were scared like any normal parent and sad for him because he was so excited about testing the course.”

After breaking his tibia and fibula, Woodrow was sent to Baylor Hospital in Dallas where he received X-rays. He underwent surgery in which a permanent metal rod was placed in his shin.

“I was in shock,” Woodrow said. “I wasn’t like screaming in pain and crying, it feels like nothing. I just felt the leg swelling in the water.”

Woodrow has been training for “ANW” since he was a young kid but furthered his training within the past few years while going to obstacle gyms in Dallas.

He has been training since the age of 9,” Jolene said. “When he got his first pull-up bar, we used to watch the Japanese version Sasuke on G4. But we didn’t find out about the gym in Dallas, until he was about 15.”

Not only is Woodrow unable to participate in “ANW”, but he will not be able to compete on the school’s water polo team for the rest of the season.

“This impacted our team having one less player [which] means everyone has to play longer without rest,” water polo coach Dan Snow said. “On a team where there are seven players in the water, losing one of the top eight impacts the team’s quality of play.”

Despite finishing with an injury, Woodrow fulfilled his dream of making it to the main stage.  

“It was such an honoring feeling, “Ninja Warrior” is one of my [biggest] passions,” Woodrow said. “I have been doing it for a really long time. I can’t wait to do more of it.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Nearly nailing the ninja dream”

  1. Renae Carswell on May 9th, 2018 6:40 PM

    You are our hero Woodrow. We will see you when you get back out there. Heal quickly.

    [Reply]

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Nearly nailing the ninja dream