Beginning of Salt Lake father-son duo's next 'Amazing Race' journey airs Sunday

Published: Sunday, Feb. 23 2014 3:18 p.m. MST

Father/son team David (left) and Connor (right) O'Leary of Utah wait at the starting line at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California on "The Amazing Race" premiering Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014 on the CBS Television Network.

Robert Voets, CBS Broadcasting

The last time Salt Lake residents Dave and Connor O’Leary were on “The Amazing Race,” Dave O’Leary’s leg was in a boot because of an Achilles tendon and calf muscle that were detached in the second leg of the race.

Dave O’Leary, 59, a real estate investor, said this week that he’s back to running, biking and skiing.

“And that (skiing) is what matters to me,” he said in a phone interview with the Deseret News.

He and his son, Connor O’Leary, 22, are going to race again.

And the father-son team will be at the starting line Sunday of “The Amazing Race: All Stars” with 10 other returning teams.

The O'Learys were on season 22 of “The Amazing Race,” which aired a year ago. After Dave O’Leary's injury on the second leg, they won the next two legs of the race — with the help of an express pass — before withdrawing from the race.

“Frankly, it was a little embarrassing,” he said of having to withdraw.

“We were pretty surprised to get the call back,” said Connor O’Leary, who is a professional cyclist and a senior at the University of Utah in strategic communications. “We didn’t expect it to be so soon. We were so excited. We left the race in not an ideal situation.”

Connor O’Leary said he was more nervous this time around as all of the teams have previous experience on the race, including a couple of teams that have been on the race at least twice.

Dave O’Leary said they are changing their strategy this time.

“We’re learning to slow down,” he said. “It’s so easy to have adrenaline going and make simple mistakes.”

Mistakes that as a viewer, he cringes at.

“It’s better to be with the pack than being out on your own,” Connor O’Leary said of their strategy of not always being in the lead. “When you’re by yourself, it’s a scary thing.”

They’ve physically prepared. Connor is fit thanks to mountain biking and Dave had to come back from an injury and was in physical therapy.

They also tried to guess who the other teams would be and watch footage of them from their seasons.

Both are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints and Dave O’Leary is the Cub Scoutmaster in the Holladay 25th Ward, Salt Lake Holladay South Stake.

And he wouldn’t mind the race taking them to Brazil, where he served a mission and still speaks some Portuguese. He also would like to see Africa, too.

Connor O’Leary would like to go to India and Africa.

Both father and son are also cancer survivors.

Dave O’Leary is a prostate cancer survivor and was diagnosed six and a half years ago.

Connor O’Leary was diagnosed with testicular cancer in the summer of 2010.

Both had surgery, and Connor O’Leary had chemotherapy and additional complications.

And both are still cancer-free.

“And that’s the most important race we could win,” Dave O’Leary said.

“The Amazing Race: All Stars” premieres Sunday evening on CBS.

Email: rappleye@deseretnews.com Twitter: CTRappleye

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