Dave and Connor wish they would’ve stayed for one more leg on 'The Amazing Race'
Even though Dave O’Leary knew he had to leave “The Amazing Race” to have surgery on his foot, both he and his son Connor wish they could’ve stayed for one more leg – especially after they saw what that leg entailed on TV.
The father and son team from Salt Lake City, Utah, chose to leave the “Race” on Sunday’s episode in Vietnam in order to take care of Dave’s torn Achilles tendon, which he injured on the second leg in Bora Bora.
“It certainly wasn’t something we wanted to do but we kind of had to. We knew there was a timeframe within which I need to have surgery and we didn’t know how long the Vietnam leg was going to be so we had to pull the plug,” Dave tells CTV.ca over the phone.
“After watching Sunday’s episode, we’re sorry we didn’t try and do the Vietnam leg. The bamboo sticks (dance challenge) may have been a little comical but the rest of it I think we could’ve done.”
Dave says they initially made the decision to continue after the injury when he was fitted with a walking boot. They figured they would go as long as Dave could keep up but after consulting with an orthopedic surgeon back home, he found out he should have surgery within seven days.
Since they didn’t know how long the leg would be, they decided to eliminate themselves from the “Race” in Vietnam.
Dave was initially concerned he had let Connor down, but his son says that definitely wasn’t the case.
“Ever since the injury the priority was my dad’s (foot). He didn’t let me down at all. He ran two legs on a torn Achilles and calf muscle. If we quit then he wouldn’t have let me down. It was a blast just to race those four legs with him,” says Connor.
Dave ended up flying home to the U.S. the same night they left the “Race” and underwent surgery the next day. He is now recovering well and even though he still can’t do everything he did before the injury, he has been able to ride his bike and will be able to run again in the next couple of months.
“I’ve made real positive progress. I should have a 100 per cent recovery,” says Dave.
Even though their time on the “Race” was short, Dave and Connor definitely made an impact with two first-place finishes, first in New Zealand (with the help of an Express Pass) and then in Bali, both of which occurred post-injury.
“I wasn’t surprised because I felt like I had the strongest teammate of anyone (with Connor) but in Bali we didn’t have an Express Pass so we were racing head to head . . . we made some good choices and I felt like we won that without the help of anything else,” says Dave.
They add they are grateful to Jessica and John (who were eliminated during the Bali leg) for giving them the Express Pass.
“We really did need it at that point because we were racing with an injury and they gave us their word they were going to give it to us so we were glad they stuck to their word,” says Connor.
Dave, a property investor, and Connor, a professional cyclist, are both cancer survivors and say being able to run the “Race” together meant the world to them.
“To see those places with my dad . . . to work as a team and be put in that situation was so much fun,” says Connor.
“We’ve had the chance to do a lot of fun things together and honestly just to be able to see him do the things that he did and to share that experience with him, it was a memory that is as great as anything I’ve ever done with anyone. To do that with Connor was unbelievable,” adds Dave.
“The Amazing Race” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV. Full episodes are also available online at CTV.ca.