Why He’s Interesting: Nothing can hold Honvou back because he’s lightning quick. When he was 6, Honvou broke the record for the fastest time for his age group in the 5-mile run at the Johnnycake Jog. Now, five years later, Honvou holds another important title as the champion of the 9- and 10-year-old division of American Ninja Warrior Junior’s second season after finishing first in all seven competitions.
Ninja Nutin: Honvou’s Ninja nickname, Nutin (pronounced “new-teen”) comes from his African middle name. It’s also how he pronounced his name when he was little, since he couldn’t say Nathanael. “It means extraordinary.”
Coming of Age: Honvou first began gymnastics when he was 3 and continued until he was 8. After being too young to compete on American Ninja Warrior in 2017, he just made the age requirement for the second season, competing in California the following year. But when he won, he had to wait a year until the finale aired to share his victory. “It felt amazing, but I was really nervous at the starting line every time.”
Work from Home: When the pandemic closed his training gym, Adrenaline Monkey, Honvou and his trainer transformed his backyard and garage into an obstacle course. He trains daily, but usually after a well-rested morning and snacks. “[My favorite energy food] is Skittles and Goldfish [Crackers].”
Lego King: Honvou is a master Lego builder. He uses his victory winnings to get the latest Lego sets, from Big Ben to an app-controlled Mini Cooper. “Most of the big Lego sets usually take me a week. Building them is really fun and I like seeing the progression of all the pieces going together.”
Keeping it Virtual: Honvou uses Messenger Kids, YouTube and Facebook to share training videos and stay in touch with American Ninja Warrior friends. “It’s really a way to express myself and show what I’ve been doing.”
Interesting Fact: So far, Honvou has won 150 medals in various sports.