Salt Lake father-son team withdraws from 'The Amazing Race'

Published: Monday, March 18 2013 4:20 p.m. MDT

Salt Lake father-son team Dave, left, and Connor O'Leary withdrew from "The Amazing Race" due to Dave's leg injury that needed medical attention. They went to the Pit Stop at the Vietnam National Museum of History during the episode on Sunday, March 17.

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Since they had won the previous leg of “The Amazing Race,” the Utah father-son team of Dave and Connor O’Leary was the first to head out in Bali, Indonesia, for the next destination — Hanoi, Vietnam.

Once there, the pair of cancer survivors withdrew from the race during Sunday’s episode.

They had consulted with an orthopedic surgeon who recommended surgery for Dave’s injured leg.

“I came home and we got in at 10 p.m. and had surgery the next day at noon,” Dave O’Leary, 58, said in a telephone interview on Monday. The show is taped in advance and his leg is recovering.

He is on track for a full recovery, which can take up to about year, and is already back on a bicycle.

“No skiing, unfortunately,” he said.

O’Leary had injured his leg, including a detached Achilles tendon, at the end of the second leg of the Race when they were in Bora Bora, French Polynesia. He had an ultrasound on it the following morning during a layover in Tahiti, and obtained a medical boot and crutches and they continued to run the race to New Zealand and then to Bali, Indonesia, winning both of those sections of the race.

It was an emotional conversation on the Pit Stop mat in Vietnam with host Phil Keoghan.

Dave O’Leary didn’t want to let 21-year-old Connor down.

“Do you feel that he’s let you down at all?” Keoghan asked Connor O'Leary.

“My dad has never let me down and never could let me down,” Connor told Keoghan, “He’s amazing. He’s my best friend; he’s my hero. We should have stopped after the second leg, he’s a hard man and wouldn’t stop.”

“You should hold your head up and feel very proud of the way you’ve run this race,” Keoghan said.

“I would rather run four legs with you than win $1 million with anybody else,” Connor O’Leary told his dad during Sunday evening’s episode.

The pair was consistently in the top three — even with Dave on crutches and Connor carrying both bags and doing most of the challenges. They obviously had a strong bond and were positive throughout the race despite their obstacles and complications.

“I think I had the strongest guy on the race as a teammate,” Dave O’Leary said. “I had it easy.”

“It was a blast,” said Connor O’Leary, a cyclist who is heading to races in Europe this weekend. “It’s unfortunate that it was cut a little short.”

They won two legs of the race, including a trip to Thailand and $5,000 each, which they said they were planning to save.

“I was doing what I could to help my dad out,” Connor O'Leary said during an interview. “We knew we had to get it taken care of.”

Overall, both of them enjoyed the experience of being on “The Amazing Race.”

“We saw the culture and experienced it first-hand,” Connor O’Leary said. And the challenges at Detours and Roadblocks aren’t things that would ordinarily be done on a vacation, like in Bali when they created a fruit offering and were part of the procession to the temple.

“There’s noting else like it and it is the best memories of my entire life,” Dave said.

“You get such an adrenaline rush and it was amazing,” Connor said.

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