5 Kids Who Kick Ass at Stuff They Shouldn't Be Allowed to Do
Every parent dreams of having a kid who's a genius, or a star athlete, or something else that makes them famous by proxy. But not everything can be gymnastics and violins. What if your youngster is a genius at bullfighting, or precision shooting? Do you encourage it and force them into a life of mediocrity, or embrace the fact that their talent lies in doing things humans probably shouldn't attempt at any age?
Everyone on this list chose the latter.
Michelito -- The 12-Year-Old Bullfighter
Bullfighting isn't considered cool in most parts of the world due to the whole animal cruelty aspect, but one thing we can all probably agree on is that the sport is no joke. If you don't, go Google the image of that guy getting gored in the face (we won't post it here -- it's the one where you can see the horn punching up through his lower jaw and out of his mouth. Seriously, go look at it!).
Well, Michel Lagravere Peniche was evidently fresh out of fucks to give about any of that, because he became a bullfighter ... at the age of 12.
Not a Halloween costume.
Michelito (as he is known to his fans) didn't do it on a whim; he got interested in fighting bulls at the age of 4, presumably because he spilled some ketchup on his copy of The Story of Ferdinand and the world suddenly made sense. He asked his father, a former bullfighter, if he could follow in his footsteps. Beaming with pride, his father enrolled him in a children's bullfighting school (yes, that is a thing that exists). In 2010, at the age of 12, Michelito attended his first event as a matador in Mexico City's main ring, becoming the youngest person ever to perform there.
His first bull, a 900-pound monster, was promptly dispatched, but the second bull sent him to the hospital, albeit with only minor bruises. Michelito wasn't deterred in the slightest, saying that the experience "left a good taste in my mouth."
"I normally like Gummi Bears, but blood just goes down better when I'm stabbing the ever-loving Christ out of a one-ton fury train."
He continues to fight bulls today, and even tried to get into the Guinness Book of Records for being the youngest person to take on six bulls in a single day (wait, was there some previous kid who took on five?). Guinness told Michelito not to bother, since they don't keep animal-fighting records, but to come back when he can wear a 50-pound beard of bees or eat a shitload of hotdogs.
Miko Andres -- The 6-Year-Old Sharpshooter
There are three golden rules to shooting that should never be broken. One, always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction; two, always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire; and three, always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. There is apparently no rule that states "Do not give a gun to a child who is barely old enough to attend school, let alone understand the permanence of death." And thus, Miko Andres' father, in a bold display of progressive parenting, decided to get Miko involved with the sport of professional shooting at the age of 6.
"So these things are full of candy, right?"
Miko is the youngest practical shooter ever, possessing an uncanny amount of natural ability that allows him to dominate his bracket, which includes competitors 10 years his senior. That may sound good in regards to things like baseball or chess, but when "natural ability" is attributed to a skill that kills people, it usually involves a front page news story and increased airport security.
Naturally, safety was paramount when handing a 3-foot-tall human with a still-developing brain a deadly weapon, and Miko's parents stress the fact that he was trained under the strict supervision of both their family and the shooting community. You'd think the first part of that training would be saying, "Holy shit, that 6-year-old has a gun" and taking it away from him, but we're not gun experts.
This situation is completely under control.
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Jordan Romero -- The Teenager Who Climbed All the Mountains
When he was 9 years old, Jordan Romero saw a mural of the Seven Summits -- the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents. However, instead of just picturing himself punching ninjas off of each peak like most kids, Jordan was entranced by the painting and made up his mind right there that he was going to climb the Seven Summits.
When he came home and told his father, Paul Romero, what he wanted to do, Paul agreed to it without a second thought. Kids should have hobbies, after all.
He saw Twilight and slept with the lights on for three weeks. But sure, he can climb a mountain.
So, Jordan, his dad and his step-mom began a six-year journey to climb the tallest mountains on each continent, starting with Kilimanjaro at the age of 10. Eventually, this journey brought him to Mount Everest, which, as some of you may know, is the tallest mountain in the world and kills about one out of every 10 people who try to climb it. However, Everest has two scalable sides, the north and the south, with the south being far less perilous. In another heroic display of wisdom, Jordan and his family climbed the north side, because when were they going to be there again? You can see Jordan and his father here (we assume) shouting curse words at death while giggling:
"Son, when your testicles finally descend, they are going to be cannonballs."
Jordan managed to succeed without any lasting physical damage, like losing five fingers to frostbite, which we should note totally happened to another teenager who climbed Everest. However, during the climb, they came across a towering wall of ice, which came crashing down on them like it was trying to keep them from reaching Lothlorien. Jordan and his family survived, but an unlucky Hungarian climber was crushed. What we're saying is that, at the age of 13, Jordan watched someone die.
One of those pouches is for his Ninja Turtles.
Following Jordan's successful climb, the Chinese Tibet Mountaineering Association imposed age restrictions that kept anyone under the age of 18 from climbing on the north side of Everest.
Laura Dekker -- The 16-Year-Old Who Circled the Globe, Alone
If you ask most people, they'll tell you that Ferdinand Magellan was the first person to ever successfully circumnavigate the globe. This is technically true, as his fleet did complete the journey, but Magellan himself died in the process. That is because traveling around the entire globe is a punishingly difficult task, much like defeating Mega Man 2. Apparently undaunted by past failures (including one that involved another 16-year-old who needed to be rescued at sea), 16-year-old Laura Dekker attempted to circumnavigate the globe in her 38-foot yacht named Guppy.
Luckily, Guppy rolls deep.
While it seemed like a dangerous task for someone so young (indeed, a dangerous task for anyone), Laura had a lot of sea experience. She was born on a ship and first sailed solo at the age of 6, and it was her dream to sail around the world. However, real life usually doesn't play out like a Mighty Ducks movie, so many people didn't want her to go.
Originally, Laura wanted to go on this journey at the age of 14. However, responsible adults got in her way. Child services recognized the danger and tried to take her away from her parents, school officials stated that the months of studies Laura would miss was unacceptable and Dutch authorities tried to keep Laura from leaving.
Sailing around the world should at least earn you a P.E. credit.
And 518 days later (which clever readers may notice is over a goddamn year), Laura completed her journey and safely docked at St. Maarten, making her the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe. Probably. The Guinness Book of Records stopped keeping track of that record because they didn't want to encourage kids to endanger themselves (unless they want to eat a shitload of hotdogs).
Arkady Kamanin -- The 14-Year-Old Fighter Pilot
In 1942, when he was just 12 years old, Arkady Kamanin begged his dad, a commander and decorated war hero in the USSR Air Force, to pull some strings and let him enlist. Most people would've just given their kids a G.I. Joe and some model airplanes or something, but you don't get to be a commander in the Soviet air force by not being a drunken maniac. So, Arkady's father let him join up as a mechanic. And that eventually led to this:
One person in this photograph still believes in Santa Claus.
How? Well, after mastering the ins and outs of Soviet planes, Arkady got promoted to flight mechanic and navigating officer. That's the guy who's just supposed to sit in the back seat of the plane and fix anything that goes haywire or gets shot up, kind of like a Bolshevik R2-D2.
But while on a mission in 1944, Arkady's pilot was hit by a bullet and blinded. Arkady mustered up all the courage of his 14 sexless years on the planet and kept his cool, and with some guidance from the crew on the ground, he landed the plane perfectly. This understandably impressed Arkady's dad, who then allowed his son to go into flight training. Two months later (at age 14, we remind you), Arkady became the youngest fighter pilot in World War II.
The "recklessly young pilot" gap was closed by American Captain Bucky O'Baby (1951-1952) during the Korean War.
He didn't just guard airfields or take cushy deployments, either -- Arkady was just as badass as his father, and proved it on several occasions. Once, while returning from a patrol flight, Arkady spotted the smoking wreck of a Soviet U-2 plane, just like the one he flew. Arkady landed his own craft while enduring heavy German fire and rescued the pilot, along with the sensitive information he was carrying. He was awarded the Order of the Red Star, the Soviet version of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Another time, when his headquarters were under attack by the Nazis, Arkady climbed into his plane and took off under heavy fire, throwing goddamned hand grenades at the enemy while he called for reinforcements, because for whatever reason, the guns on his aircraft weren't an option.
"Well, bullets don't explode, you see."
By war's end, Arkady had racked up a list of commendations so impressive that it almost seems like other soldiers just started giving him their medals to hold on to. Seriously. He received "two combat Orders of the Red Star, the Order of the Red Banner, the Medal for the Victory Over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945, the Medal for the Capture of Budapest and the Medal for the Capture of Vienna." That's two medals for capturing a city and one medal for defeating the entire country of Germany. All this at an age when he wouldn't have been allowed to drive a car.
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For more kickass kids, check out 5 Shockingly Powerful Kids Who Make You Look Like a Coward. Or learn about The 6 Worst Jobs Ever (Were Done by Children).