WSU senior looks to shine bright in Titan Games

Bridger Buckley met idol Dwayne Johnson on new NBC game show

JOHN SPELLMAN, Evergreen reporter

Pullman may not be known for its bright lights, but the Palouse hosts a number of stories hiding in plain sight.

This could not be truer for WSU senior Bridger Buckley, a contestant on the inaugural season of The Titan Games, where Buckley looks to leave his mark.

The Titan Games is a new show on NBC, designed to test the limits of the human body.

Competitors face off in head-to-head battles through innovating and unforgiving challenges created by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The winners of these battles will move on to Mount Olympus, a course designed to test speed, agility, strength and endurance.

WSU senior finance major Bridger Buckley is one of 64 contestants looking to conquer Mount Olympus. Like all his competitors, Buckley is looking to win the $100,000 prize, but he has already come away with so much from his experience.

From Snohomish, Washington, Buckley has his eye on making it in Hollywood and sees The Titan Games as the perfect start.

No matter what happens, Buckley is an inspiration to many. A car hit him during his freshman year at WSU, breaking his neck. After many hours of rehabilitation, he recovered and brought himself to peak condition to compete on The Titan Games.

“I would work out four to five hours a day to prepare for the show, doing my CrossFit regimen and continuing to swim and stay in shape,” Buckley said.

As he trained for the Los Angeles-based show, Buckley said he learned a lot from the time that he spent training.

“I learned that I can always push harder than I think I can in whatever I do,” Buckley said.

NBC taped the show in the fall of 2018, forcing Buckley to stay mute on the results, but he did elaborate on his experience of being on national television.

“I’ve always wanted to be on a big stage with the bright lights and all the pressure with everyone watching,” Buckley said. “The nerves felt like the ones I would get before playing in a football game, but it went away once I was at the start line and I heard them counting 3..2..1.”

Another interesting part of the show for Buckley was that he got to meet a hero of his, the host of the Titan Games, “The Rock.”

“Dwayne is such a great guy in person,” Buckley said. “People say that you don’t want to meet your idol in real life because it’ll be a letdown, but he was just as cool as I imagined and he was super professional.”

His episode airs this Thursday on NBC, as he looks to go from training in the hills of the Palouse to conquering Mount Olympus and becoming a Titan.