Cheerleader who lost pants in mid-air takes viral fame in stride

“Sure enough I land, looked down, and there’s my pants"
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 4:01 PM EDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG/Gray News) – A University of Iowa cheerleader caught some wind while performing a tumbling pass during a game earlier this month.

“I had a feeling something was wrong. I didn’t know what it was because I felt a slight breeze between my legs,” Austin Beam said.

The cheerleader performed a skill he’d done countless times before, but on his way up – his pants fell down.

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

His recovery was stellar as he stuck the landing.

KCRG’s Jack Lido caught the whole thing on camera and posted it on X. One post turned into millions of views.

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.’”

Beam started gymnastics when he was 9 years old, followed by competitive cheer and various sports.

But his journey to Iowa City was a bit surprising since he grew up surrounded by Iowa State fans his entire life.

Beam said he always wanted to be a biomedical engineer and Iowa State doesn’t have a program for that.

“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, but 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.”

Beam said he plans to tie his pants a little tighter moving forward so the mishap doesn’t happen again.