Alaskan Mitch Harrison to compete in NBC's Titan Games as the first trans athlete
hits the airwaves Monday night and on the fifth episode will be Alaskan 32-year-old Mitch Harrison.
Harrison, who is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah but now lives in Nikiski, says he is honored to be apart of the show.
“I’m absolutely excited about it and very nervous at the same time, just really grateful for the opportunity, obviously it’s a big stage to compete on, “ said Harrison. “[It’s} the first time I’ve competed out as a trans athlete, as Mitch, essentially and so it’s just a great opportunity all and all.”
Harrison played basketball at Stanford as Michelle Harrison. With the Stanford Cardinals Harrison went to three final fours, two national championships. He then went on to play pro-ball overseas before starting his transition.
Harrison says he hopes his episode Monday opens the heart and minds of people watching to trans athletes.
“At the end of the day regardless of this being a sports competition I hope it’s an opportunity to open doors for discussion, more acceptance, and more love just all around,” said Harrison. “If that’s something I can inspire that would be the most rewarding for me.”
Harrison is making history as the first trans athlete to be competing in the Titian Games.
“That’s the most exciting part about all of this, knowing that I’m coming on the show being the first trans athlete representing the trans community.”
Preparation for the Titan Games actually began late in 2019 Harrison says when he was contacted by a producer for the show. After that initial talk, he began training, paperwork and other mental preparation.
In Monday’s episode, Harrison says he goes up against another former basketball player, both with similar athletic styles, each trying to get the upper hand over their opponent.
“The tension is growing, the excitement is growing, there are so many things to look forward to in this episode so I hope that a lot of people watch.”
Harrison says two of the hardest things about competing in the Titan Games are not knowing really what to expect and the speed of the games. He says things go from one thing to the next, so being able to adjust quickly is key.
You can watch him compete Monday at 7 p.m. right after the Newshour on Channel 2.