Olympia’s Jesse Stevick and his siblings slid through the mud and dog piled on top of each other, following a brutal test of physical ability.
In April, the five Stevick siblings flew to Atlanta, Georgia to compete in a qualifying episode of NBC’s “Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge.”
The show, now in its second season, involves teams of five racing through an obstacle course that tests teamwork, strength and speed — all while being tossed around in the mud. Team Stevick, or the “Stevick Spartans” as they are aptly named on the show, competed on the third qualifying episode, which aired June 26 and is streaming on NBC.com.
Though the siblings missed a trip to the second round after slipping on the final obstacle just before time ran out, Jesse Stevick said the opportunity to spend time with his brothers and sisters made for a fun five day trip.
“It was all five of us staying up until 4 o’clock in the morning, talking about how we were going to get over these things and do these things,” Stevick said.
“We had quite a bit of time to hang out as a family. (It was fun) being able to do that and have time that really wouldn’t have happened (otherwise) to hang out all together.”
All five of the Stevick siblings are Olympia High School products with a long history of athletic prowess.
Jesse Stevick, 35, is a 10-time winner of the Capital City Marathon and coaches cross country and track and field at Olympia. His younger brother Casey, 28, was a NAIA national champion in the heptathlon at Azusa Pacific University in California, and is now a resident at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle.
They were joined by sisters Autumn, 39, who teaches at Marshall Middle School, and Cassidy, 25, who is a local financial planner and volunteer firefighter. The idea to apply for the NBC reality show came from the eldest Stevick brother, Joseph, 37, who is a scientist living in California.
“He’d done Spartan races and saw that they were accepting applications to get on this show,” Jesse Stevick said. “He convinced us it would be a good idea to apply.
“It was kind of a neat opportunity to get together and make videos.”
They sent footage to NBC, and eventually received a call to participate. Usually the teams of five include two men, two women and an elite Spartan athlete chosen by the show. But, because of strong athletic history, all five Stevick siblings were asked to participate.
“It was a unique experience we thought we should capitalize on,” Jesse Stevick said.
The five arrived in Georgia and were allowed to watch videos of the course to help with planning, but couldn’t try out the obstacles beforehand. During the competition, the Stevick siblings led the race through the first two obstacles before they were passed by another team.
They had a chance to qualify as a wild card, but ran out of time on the final obstacle, which requires teams to make a human chain to climb over a sloped wall.
“It was an awesome experience,” Jesse Stevick said. “It was really quite fun.”
Both Stevick parents, Drew and Wendy, were shown in the audience cheering their children on. In the show, Casey Stevick says much of the team’s inspiration comes from their father, who was invited to the 1972 U.S. Olympic Trials in the javelin.
“He just instilled in us a huge love for track and field,” Casey Stevick says in the show. “I think it’s a testament that all of us competed in college and beyond.”
“It’s not a surprise that they would come out to see it,” Jesse Stevick said. “Both of our parents have been super supportive of everything we’ve done.”