Hopefully you checked out Eagle Scout Jackson Meyer‘s stealth maneuvers when he sprung onto the American Ninja Warrior scene on May 25. His athletic prowess landed him in the Venice finals that air tonight at 8/7c.
While you may feel like the #NinjaScout‘s biggest fan, you probably don’t know everything about this competitor’s time on the show. For instance, did you know Jackson ran the course at 4:30 a.m.? Or that 130 competitors ran the course that night (and really early morning), even though only 20 or 30 were featured on the episode? We learned about these TV magic insights when we caught up with the Scout after the show. Read on to get the details and psych yourself up for tonight’s episode.
Eagle Scout Jackson Meyer Tackles the American Ninja Warrior Course
If you saw the episode that catapulted Jackson onto the American Ninja Warrior stage, you’ll remember how he bounded through the course, shook off a quick stumble, and hit the road block that halted most competitors. Despite all that, Jackson is still in the running for the city finals.
“I knew it came down to the top 30 finishers or the top 30 times,” Jackson explained.
Even though Jackson didn’t complete the final obstacle of the course – the Hour Glass Drop – his time was fast enough to place him in the top 30 and in the city finals.
But what made the obstacle that tripped up so many competitors such a challenge?
“It was just tricky because the trampoline was springier than most,” Jackson said. “I went super far down before I launched up.”
And after watching countless competitors get stuck on the drop and earlier obstacles, Jackson felt the pressure.
“I felt like I was on the big stage,” Jackson remembered. “You get one shot to run the course.”
The first time the fresh college graduate stepped onto the course was his first time to run its obstacles, not to mention grace national network television.
Jackson marveled, “Once I got up there, I realized, wow! The crowd is much bigger than I thought. The whole course is bigger than I thought.”
And the pressure was even greater as Scouts around the country tuned in to watch Jackson scale the course in Scouting uniform
Representing Scouts on the Course
Most Ninja Warriors featured on the show share moving backstories or display an edge to what they’re bringing to the competition. For Jackson, that edge is Scouting.
He secured clearance from the Boy Scouts of America to wear his uniform on the course. The choice made him a standout, and it’s one he’s glad he made.
But representing Scouting on the course came with additional pressure.
“There’s the added pressure of, ‘OK, it’s my first season, everyone’s looking at me like, I haven’t seen this kid before,'” Jackson explained. “And so there’s me in a Boy Scout uniform and it’s like, who is this guy? So it was a little bit of extra pressure.”
Among the veteran American Ninja Warriors, many of whom have run courses since the show began in 2009, stood the Eagle Scout, wearing the shirt many boys and men around the country revere.
Scouters should tune in tonight to see Jackson sport the uniform on the course again. But the show and this competitor give Scouts more reasons to watch than just the uniform – like how skills first developed in races and obstacle courses at Scout camp come into play.
“Now I’m able to be on national TV showing adequacy to put these skills to use,” Jackson said. “It is an opportunity to prove ourselves as athletes.”
Watch the athlete put these skills to the test tonight on NBC at 8/7c.