America Has a New 'Governator'

Eric Greitens of Missouri is a former Navy SEAL who doesn't mind touting his physical feats
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 11, 2017 9:25 AM CST
America Has a New 'Governator'
In this April 22, 2017, photo, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, center, along with teammates from the St. Louis County Police Department, catch their breath after completing the obstacle course at the SEMO SWAT Challenge in Fredericktown, Mo.   (Jacob Scott/Daily Journal via AP)

Rappelling into a bull-riding rodeo event, crawling through dirt in a SWAT obstacle course, and entering a burning building with firefighters. These could be action movie stunts by Arnold Schwarzenegger, but they were all done by another governor earning a reputation for public displays of physical prowess: Eric Greitens of Missouri. The 43-year-old Greitens—the nation's second-youngest state executive—revels in the attention, posting videos of his adventures on Facebook and even using them to help stay fit while keeping a demanding schedule. In one feat, Greitens visited an indoor rock-climbing business and easily scaled two walls as media cameras rolled. Other exploits include runs with military members, climbing 110 flights of stairs in memory of 9/11, and riding in a Missouri Highway Patrol car through a high-speed obstacle course "Look, this is fun. It's a good time," Greitens said.

A novice to politics, Greitens has experience in real fights. He was a boxer in college and has a black belt in taekwondo. A former Navy SEAL officer, he was once chlorine-gassed in Iraq. He returned to service three days later. Greitens typically wakes between 5am and 6am to run on local trails or do strength training at the Missouri State Highway Patrol gym. He may also have higher political aspirations: The Republican reserved years ago, notes the AP. The governor has gotten generally good reviews on Facebook. In response to a video of Greitens rappelling into the bull-riding event, one user commented that "Missouri now officially has the coolest governor." "They're all pencil pushers," says a Springfield resident who voted for Greitens. "He sort of changed the game." Counters another: "So he can do pushups. I'm not impressed."

(More Eric Greitens stories.)

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