The current season of The Biggest Loser, called The Biggest Loser: Glory Days, features former star athletes now struggling with obesity. It's easy to see why Winnipeg's Jackie Pierson, of the Sagkeeng First Nation, hasn't been a major focus of the show. A star high school athlete, Pierson doesn't quite have the profile of the two NFL players in the competition or the Olympic gold medalist.
But profile doesn't count for anything when you're standing on that Biggest Loser scale—it's all about the number you put up. After all, two former professional athletes—Zina Garrison (who was once the fourth-ranked women's tennis player in the world) and Vanessa Hayden (a former WNBA player)—were bounced from the show in the first episode. Pierson has survived four episodes and hopes to make it five tonight when The Biggest Loser: Glory Days airs at 8 PM Eastern on NBC. Although Pierson did not compete professionally, the hometown athletic hero captained her high school basketball team to the state championship. She was also the captain of her high school volleyball team, and competed in soccer, baseball, rugby, and track and field (javelin). Her probable college career never panned out due to injury.
For footage of Pierson in those glory days, we don't have the benefit of NFL Films or NBC's vast Olympics archive—but you never know what will turn up on YouTube. Here's a homemade highlight reel of Pierson playing in the state championship tournament, dated 1995. The long and lean teenage Jackie wears the number 5 jersey for St. John's, and cleans the glass like Windex.
Here's a preview of tonight's episode. Jackie Pierson is a member of the blue team.