Iowa cheerleader Austin Beam taking viral fame in stride

“Sure enough I land, looked down, and there’s my pants"
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 7:07 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - “I had a feeling something was wrong. I didn’t know what it was because I felt a slight breeze between my legs.”

On Saturday, Iowa cheerleader Austin Beam performed a skill he’d done countless times before, but on his way up... well his pants fell off.

“Sure enough I land, looked down, and there’s my pants,” Beam said.

But his recovery was stellar: he stuck the landing.

“Just really surprised that it happened. Don’t think that many people saw it.”

But someone did see it.

One post turned into millions of views.

“One of the front row members of the student section was like ‘hey!’ I was like ‘hello? What’s up?’” Beam said, “They were like ‘you’re on ESPN! and I was like ‘me?’”

In an instant Beam flipped from just an Iowa sophomore to a viral sensation.

“My mom, dad and sister were all like ‘are you ok? are you embarrassed?’” Beam said. “I said ‘honestly it is pretty funny I can’t lie. I catch myself giggling at it, it’s kind of funny.’”

“As soon as I said that there were like ‘OK good we think it’s hilarious too we just didn’t want to make you feel bad.’”

There’s a reason Beam had the skills to land on his two feet, he started gymnastics at age 9, followed by competitive cheer, and multiple sports at Ankeny Centennial.

His journey to Iowa City though, was a bit surprising.

“I actually grew up with Iowa State fans, my whole family, so when I came here, it was kind of a sin,” Beam said. “But I always wanted to be a biomedical engineer I Iowa State doesn’t have that.”

Yes - the guy who can land multiple backflips is studying biomedical engineering, first inspired after he received a brace to fix a childhood chest deformity.

“I just thought it was the coolest thing to give people an opportunity to bring back normal things that we can do every day,” Beam said. “Like for some people walking isn’t always an option, so I thought it was super cool that you can help give someone that.”

Not only are Beam and his team practicing game day stunts, they also have cheer nationals coming up in January in Orlando, Florida.

The spirit squad practices four days a week, plus two lifting sessions and game days.

The internet can be a brutal place, but Beam says he’s thankful it’s treated him relatively well.

“I feel like with every mean or rude comment there’s five people defending me,” Beam said. “Sticking up for me online saying super nice things.”

Next for Beam is a road trip to Penn State.

“I’m really stocked I can’t lie,” Beam said “I’m just going to tie (my pants) a smidge bit tighter this time... a lot a bit tighter a lot a bit tighter this time.”