NEANG firefighter sets Guinness World Record

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alexander Schriner

LINCOLN, Neb. – It’s the opening ceremony for the 38th annual Cornhusker State Games at Seacrest Field and the stands are full of family, friends, and other spectators. Everyone's attention is directed toward a gentleman once they hear he will be attempting to break the world's ax throwing record. He starts off rusty and isn’t landing any throws, but with little time left he finally hits his mark with the crowd cheering.

Jesse Rood, a firefighter at the Nebraska Air Guard Fire Department, broke the world ax throwing record on July 15, 2022, at the Cornhusker State Games in Lincoln, Neb. Rood later received confirmation on his record for throwing 90 feet along with a certificate from Guinness World Records on November 17, 2022.

“It was an intense atmosphere. I had my headphones in and I could still hear people cheering through them,” Rood said. “I was starting to lose confidence towards the end, but the crowd energy was a boost and I finally stuck it after missing several.”

Breaking a record didn’t just happen for Rood overnight. He trained and honed his throwing form for a few months after contacting the Nebraska Sports Council about his plan and making sure all the requirements were met for the record attempt.

“To have the record legitimized I went through the lengthy process of having two witnesses that didn’t know me, who were either a police officer or an attorney along with a professional surveyor,” Rood said. “Meanwhile I would go out in the morning and throw 200 axes or practice around four hours.”

Even though the historical throw took place in July, it took four months to confirm the record through the paperwork process. That has given Rood some time to process his achievement.

“The record has sunk in for me more recently because I didn’t know whether it would be approved,” Rood said. “It’s neat to be able and see the plaque I have now. I also didn’t expect to be noticed, but it has happened on several occasions where people know who I am on the street.”

Rood had fellow firefighters from the base come to cheer him on during the event. They also make sure to introduce him as the ax throwing champ sometimes to new people Rood said.

“It was a fun and unique experience to be able and see a coworker do something like that because I don’t know any world record holders,” said Andrew Hoefler, a firefighter at the Nebraska Air Guard Fire Department. “I now joke with him that he has to wear a special pin that identifies him as the record holder.”

The average person can’t say they hold a Guinness World Record like Rood, but that doesn’t stop him from looking into the future and what he could conquer next.

“I’ve heard rumors that ax throwing could be added to the Olympics and if that’s the case I would direct my life more in that direction,” Rood said. “Until then I’ll just keep throwing for fun.”