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The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

‘I could feel the wind between my legs’: UI cheerleader goes viral after losing pants during Iowa game

A video of Iowa cheerleader Austin Beam’s football game performance went viral after he lost his pants mid-stunt.
Cody Blissett
Iowa Spirit Squad member Austin Beam Holds a sign at a football Game between Iowa and Western Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.

While performing a stunt during the Western Michigan football game, Hawkeye cheerleader Austin Beam lost his pants in mid-air. Despite that head-turning complication, he nailed the landing. 

A video of the incident went viral and has brought attention to Beam and the cheer team this week. A post of Beam’s stunt by @BarstoolUIowa amassed almost 500,000 views and @redditcfb’s post had over 700,000 views on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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The second-year University of Iowa student has been receiving a lot of attention from his peers and national news outlets regarding his uniform malfunction, and he’s kept a good attitude through it all. 

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

The Daily IowanWhat is your background in cheerleading? Why did you decide to get into the sport?

Austin Beam: I did gymnastics from when I was 9 years old up until my freshman year of high school. When I was thinking about quitting gymnastics, I was talking to one of my friends who had quit gymnastics the year before I did because I knew she went through the same thing. So I was asked, “What are you doing now?” and she said she was doing cheerleading and I should really try it out. And at first, I said, “Yeah, no, like, I’m good.” But she said “No, just come to a practice and like, meet everyone.” And I went and loved it and joined the team.

DISo let’s just dive right into the incident. What happened, and what was your reaction?

Beam: I first noticed, like when I was about to land, I could feel the wind between my legs, but I didn’t know for sure what it was. But the second I landed, I looked down and they were on my ankles. I thought nothing was wrong because I landed, and that’s a trick I usually will land.

DIWere you surprised that the video of you went viral?

Beam: In the middle of the game I was on the sideline and one of the student section members yelled “turn around”, and she said, “You’re on ESPN.” And then showed us all the videos. I just thought, “Oh my God.” 

DI: What reaction have you been getting from your friends, family, or other students on campus?

Beam: At first they ask “are you doing okay?” and “how are you handling it all?” And then I say I’m doing alright and think it’s funny then they usually laugh and tease me a little bit more. Monday morning I was sitting in my chemistry lecture, and I turned to the girl sitting next to me and she was just on my Instagram page going through it, so that’s also really funny.

DIHave you been enjoying all the buzz that the viral video has created?

Beam: Yes. It’s bringing more attention to Iowa and cheerleading that we wouldn’t have received originally. I’ve seen a lot of the comments hyping up like cheerleaders and saying how it’s so difficult but like all this positive stuff.

DIWe’ve seen a handful of comments on the various videos of you poking fun at male cheerleaders. Do you have any comments for anyone who might try to discount your sport?

Beam: It’s definitely a lot harder than you think. You’re throwing a whole person up in the air and holding them, and if you’re tumbling it’s hard. You can’t just learn that off the streets, so don’t knock it before you try it.

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About the Contributors
Grace Olson
Grace Olson, News Reporter
Grace Olson is a first-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications. She's a news reporter for The DI, reporting primarily on local government. She is from Denver, Colorado and worked on the pirnt publication from her high school prior to her work in college.
Cody Blissett
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.