Athlete of the Week: Enzo Belardo, Stoneybrook Karate OGKK

Enzo Belardo has started the AAU karate season on fire, winning three of three competitions. Next up, he has his sights on Nationals.

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Enzo Belardo started martial arts at the age of 7 but stopped after two years to play other sports. After rededicating himself to karate almost two years ago, he’s been on a tear.  

In three competitions so far in 2024, Belardo has finished first all three times. With the AAU Karate National Championships on the horizon, Belardo is currently gearing up for the big stage with three more events. 

With his dedication and proven pedigree in the sport, Belardo has had the opportunity to have some awesome experiences, like training with Olympic Medalist Ariel Torres, being invited to train with a professional karate team and even working with sponsors to continue down this path.


Age: 15

Sport: Karate

Grade: Sophomore

School: Horizon High

Dojo: Stoneybrook Karate OGKK

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How does it feel to be named Athlete of the Week?

I am honored to be chosen as the Athlete of the Week and to have my work recognized.

What do you like the most about karate?

The training environment.

What are your goals for yourself in karate?

To keep working hard and become a world champion.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from karate?

Everyone improves at their own pace.

Who is your favorite athlete?

Lyoto Machida, because he was born in Brazil just like me and he is a humble guy that I look up to.

Favorite karate memory?

My favorite karate memory would be when I was fighting someone in a final at a tournament and I was losing 0-6 in the last minute of the fight. I managed to score eight points, and I ended up winning the fight and getting first place.

What’s your go-to pregame meal?

My go-to pregame meal is a Chipotle bowl. 

What’s your go-to pregame hype song?

“You Broke My Heart,” by Drake.

What is your favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject in school would have to be HOPE because I love playing sports.

What are three things you would take with you to a deserted island?

I would bring water, food and a boat to leave. 

What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie is “Ted” because every time I watch this movie it always makes me laugh.

If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be?

I would have dinner with my grandpa because he lives in Brazil and I don’t get to see him that often.

If you could go back in time to a specific period in history, when and where would you go?

I would go back to the Mesozoic era (when dinosaurs were alive) because I would like to see how different it would be.

Looking back, what piece of advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to try harder in school.

If you could ask your future self a question, what would it be?

I would ask my future self, ‘Where am I living?’

Who is your favorite superhero?

My favorite superhero is Spider-Man because I always thought he was cool as a kid and I still like him now.

Who is your favorite supervillain?

My favorite supervillain would probably be The Joker because he’s always one step ahead of everyone.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I would pick teleportation because I would be able to go anywhere in the world. 

If you could travel to three places in the world, where would you go?

Japan, everything looks so cool there, Bora Bora, it’s a really pretty place to be and Paris, I want to visit the Eiffel Tower.

If you could be an animal for a day, which one would you be?

I would be an eagle because I would be able to fly. 

What is your most controversial food take?

Candy corn is good.

Does pineapple belong on pizza?

Definitely not.

Sam Albuquerque is the Sports Editor for the Orange Observer. Please contact him with story ideas, results and statistics.

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Sam Albuquerque

A native of João Pessoa, Brazil, Sam Albuquerque moved in 1997 to Central Florida as a kid. After earning a communications degree in 2016 from the University of Central Florida, he started his career covering sports as a producer for a local radio station, ESPN 580 Orlando. He went on to earn a master’s degree in editorial journalism from Northwestern University, before moving to South Carolina to cover local sports for the USA Today Network’s Spartanburg Herald-Journal. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his lovely wife, Sarah, newborn son, Noah, and dog named Skulí.

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