Salt Lake father-son team sets out to win third leg of 'The Amazing Race' with one on crutches
Robert Voets, CBS Broadcasting
Salt Lake father-son team Dave and Connor O’Leary successfully raced through airports, a river in a jet boat, muddy trails on ATVs and navigated winding roads in New Zealand while Dave was on crutches with a leg injury in an emotional episode of the third leg of “The Amazing Race” on Sunday.
While their ability to continue is still in question, no one was eliminated by the end of Sunday’s episode, and viewers were left with a “To Be Continued.”
Dave O’Leary, 58, felt his Achilles tendon pop running to the Pit Stop in the French Polynesian island Motu Tapu at the end of the second leg of the race. They arrived seconds after professional hockey players and brothers Anthony and Bates Battaglia.
“At this point, it’s not over until it’s over,” said O’Leary. He and his son are both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Holladay 25th Ward, Salt Lake Holladay South Stake. “We’re not quitters. We’re not going to quit, and we’ll wait and see what happens."
In this leg of the race, the teams flew from Bora Bora to Papeete, Tahiti, and then to Auckland, New Zealand, and onto Christchurch. From there, they drove to the gorgeous Rakaia River Gorge.
Time was on their side during the flights.
The O’Learys left on the second flight to Tahiti and there had to go to a hospital to get a sonogram.
The sonogram showed two tears, including the Achilles tendon, and they went to a pharmacy to get a boot for him to wear for that leg of the race — which they were determined to win.
“I think we’re here because of what we’ve gone through in the past — both of us are cancer survivors,” O'Leary said.
Dave O'Leary is a prostate cancer survivor and 21-year-old Connor O'Leary is a testicular cancer survivor.
“We came here to run the race as far as we could run it,” an emotional Dave O'Leary said after the visit to the hospital. “And it got cut short a little bit.”
In the first episode, the O’Learys were part of an alliance to secure a second Express Pass given to dating couple and surfers John Erck and Jessica Hoel, who won the first leg of the race. The O’Learys were second from the alliance to cross the finish line on that leg. While Erk and Hoel were initially a little hesitant to give the O’Learys the Express Pass.
“Dave is injured and so they won’t be as competitive,” Erck said of giving the O’Learys the Express Pass. “Ultimately for us, Jess and I want to beat the hockey players, so we’re hoping they will help us play some defense against the hockey players.”
Because the flights to Auckland didn’t leave until the following morning, the O’Learys didn’t lose any time.
Connor O’Leary pushed his father through the airport in Auckland and made the second of four flights the teams were on to Christchurch.
“Look at Dave go! The fastest man on crutches,” Phill Keoghan tweeted during Sunday’s episode. And another one of his next tweets was, “Is it possible for Mr Hopalong can win this leg with his leg the way it is?”
Friends Pamela Chien and Winnie Sung got on the first flight to Christchurch, and the second flight also included the three-team alliance of Erck and Hoel, roller-derby moms Mona Egender and Beth Bandimere and YouTube hosts Joey Graceffa and Meghan Camarena. Newlyweds Max and Katie Bichler, who are suspicious of everyone, were also on that flight.
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