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Eagle Scout Wins World Championship Title

February 02, 2017

To those who think kids have to choose between sports and Scouting, Austin Hindman respectfully disagrees.

A senior at Lafayette High School, Austin recently won the ITU Triathlon Junior World Championship race in Cozumel, Mexico, last September. The race consisted of a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike ride, and a 5-kilometer run. Hindman finished the triathlon with a time of 54:02.

But before he claimed that victory, Austin joined Scouting’s elite, earning his Eagle Scout rank in May 2016.

“Scouting is a massive part of my life,” Austin said. “I’ve been a part of Scouting for as long as I can remember and always loved the outings and everything the Scout Oath and Law stands for. So it was extremely important to me to finish my Eagle because I wanted to achieve the goal I had set when I started Scouting years ago. And because becoming an Eagle Scout is such an honor. As in life, becoming an Eagle is about perseverance, so it was important to me to achieve my goal.”

Austin has been setting and achieving goals since he ran his very first triathlon at age 5! His dad competed in ironman competitions and inspired Austin from an early age.

While preparing for the junior world championship, Austin maintained a grueling schedule that had him working out two to four times a day. Even then, he managed to stay involved with Scouting.

“I would wake up before school to do workouts, then go to school, then do two more workouts afterwards,” said Austin. “I spent some time in the morning doing school and Scouts, and then some more time on it in between workouts and before I went to bed.”

Despite his status as an elite athlete (oh… did we mention he set a state record at the 2016 Missouri Boys Cross Country State Championship and Missouri State track meet?), Austin admits even he struggled with the negative perception Scouting sometimes gets. You know, the one that portrays Scouting as “nerdy” or “uncool.”

“I have personally experienced this, and it’s very unfair,” said Austin. “Scouting is one of the most important things in my life, and I believe there is a huge misconception. Unfortunately, it does chase kids away as they get into high school. What people don’t realize is all of the lessons you learn in Scouting are very important to your success in life. Some of the most successful people in the United States have been Eagle Scouts.”

Thankfully, Austin saw those stigmas as one more training hurdle to conquer and hasn’t looked back since.