After five full seasons of The Amazing Race Canada, it’s safe to say we’ve seen a lot of different teams trek across the world for a cool cash prize and a sweet new ride. Who could forget the female Olympic hockey players, Team Giver, Body Break’s Sue and Hal, the always huggable Mickey and Pete, or Alain and Audrey, who got engaged during the Paris leg of their season?
Yup, we’ve had a wide range of personalities over the years. But when host Jon Montgomery yells “go!” on The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition (July 3 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV) we’re going to see the most heroic season yet, thanks to 10 new teams of former air force pilots, volunteers, police officers, Olympians and more.
We got to talk to the participating teams this year, and we’re already feeling pretty inspired by them.
Chewy and Happy
WHO: Retired air force pilots for Canada’s Air Force, Chewy and Happy now reside in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Think of them as Canada’s Goose and Maverick.
WHY THEY’RE GOING TO WIN: These two have plenty of experience in high-stakes situations, which they plan on tapping into as much as possible. Other than that, “our strategy going in is to minimize our errors,” says Happy. “There’s no such thing as a perfect race. We’re going to focus on each single leg of the race and not underestimate anyone.”
HOW IT’S GOING TO GET HEROIC: “The most heroic thing we could do is to represent our brothers and sisters who are still serving in the armed forces and make them proud,” says Happy. “As dads we want to make our families proud in each challenge, but as retired military members we also want to fly the flag for those who protect our country.
WHAT COULD BRING THEM DOWN: While these papas have lots of situational experience, it’s the physical challenges they worry might cost them this race. “We could potentially sprain an ankle or blow a knee out,” says Happy. “Aside from that I think our life experience will bear well. We’re fit for our age and we have navigational skills.”
Dylan and Kwame
WHO: These best friends currently reside in Fort McMurray, Alta. and coach football together.
WHY THEY’RE GOING TO WIN: “We’re going to win by determination and by never giving up,” says Dylan. “That’s what’s going to keep us in the race, that’s how we’re going to win.”
HOW IT’S GOING TO GET HEROIC: Kwame knows he’s going to have to do a few things he’s not going to want to on this race, but there’s one thing that stands out: “I’ll probably have to eat onions. I hate onions so for me that’s really heroic,” he says. “I actually asked him yesterday, I said, ‘Okay. If there’s a bowl of onions and a bowl of bugs…” I didn’t even get to finish the question and he said, ‘Bugs. Give me the bugs,’” Dylan adds.
WHAT COULD BRING THEM DOWN: While these two are certainly hands on and motivating, they admit that when it comes to anything math-related they may stumble. “We’re both not too confident in our math abilities,” says Dylan. “But we like the words ‘slow us down’, not ‘bring us down.’”
Zainab and Monica
WHO: Members of the Royal Canadian Navy, Zainab and Monica are also friends who hail from Hamilton and Markham, Ont., respectively.
WHY THEY’RE GOING TO WIN: According to Zainab the duo’s training in the Canadian Armed Forces has certainly prepared them for this race. “There are a lot of similarities between our training and what we see on the show,” she says. “That includes encountering situations you’re not maybe used to and strategizing on how to respond to them. Fixing a problem, how to do it quickly and how to carry on with your mission. This is what we’re constantly doing and we think we’re going to be able to pull that off here.”
HOW IT’S GOING TO GET HEROIC: “The most heroic thing within the race and outside of it is putting yourself before someone else,” says Monica. “Being a hero is not just about saving a life; it’s about motivating someone to do something or impacting someone’s life in some way.”
WHAT COULD BRING THEM DOWN: Sometimes when you get along as well as these two do, it’s having an argument for the very first time that could throw you off your game.
“Monica and I have encountered every situation in terms of combat operations, simulations, etc. and we have never fought or not been on the same page before,” Zainab says. “I’m sure there will be challenges where that’s going to happen and we’re going to have to navigate how to do this when we’re at each other’s necks.”
“That will be a challenge,” adds Monica. “We’ll have to pretend fight or something before we go on. We know that’s coming. We expect that. We’re not going to let anything that happens affect our friendship or our bond.”
Leanne and Mar
WHO: Cheerleaders for the Toronto Argonauts, Leanne and Mar want to dispel stereotypes and shine a light on their work as community ambassadors.
WHY THEY’RE GOING TO WIN: According to the team, people are always underestimating cheerleaders and they plan on using that to their full advantage. “People are automatically going to think they can outsmart us or outdo us in a physical competition,” Mar says. “People are going to underestimate us, but what we bring to the table is so much more than a pretty face. We’re going to let people think they don’t have to work as hard when they’re against us in a competition.”
HOW IT’S GOING TO GET HEROIC: While Mar and Leanne admit they’d “dive into a burning building to save a puppy” 10 times over, for them it would be pretty heroic to showcase another side of their profession.
“The most heroic thing we can do is represent ourselves and the cause of why we’re here and what we want to do after the show is over,” says Mar. “The most heroic thing we could do is work our butts off and really make the best statement to Canada about what we do and who we are.”
WHAT COULD BRING THEM DOWN: “Personally I really get in my head sometimes,” Mar admits. “I take it really hard when I can’t do something well; I’ve always been that person who perseveres and practices until I get it perfect. So I’m actually scared of embarrassing myself. I know Leanne is going to be behind me and cheering me on but I do get in my head so the challenge for me is going to be to take a step back and really calm down, focus, zen out, look at the big picture and go from there.”
Todd and Anna
WHO: A dating couple from Edmonton. Todd is a childhood cancer survivor who hopes to represent the hopes and dreams of parents of sick kids across the country.
WHY THEY’RE GOING TO WIN: It’s all about balance for this team — Todd says he’s got the sporty and mechanical side of it all covered while Anna has the knowledge to back it up. “We plan on leaning on each other’s strengths and weaknesses; we feel like we balance each other well,” Anna adds. “We’ve got book smarts and street smarts.”
HOW IT’S GOING TO GET HEROIC: “We might have some challenges that are heroic, like putting out a fire or saving someone in a simulated format,” Anna predicts.
WHAT COULD BRING THEM DOWN: Their competitive nature and frustration, obviously. “If a challenge gets to us and we’re both in it together we might get down and frustrated,” Todd says. “We’re competitive so it’s hard for us to be at the back of the pack,” adds Anna. “We don’t like to think we’re going to lose.”
Joseph and Akash
WHO: Millennial nonprofit founders, Joseph and Akash from Toronto want to give back to the community.
WHY THEY’RE GOING TO WIN: “We prepared really hard by practicing puzzles, training with vests and doing a lot of running,” Joseph says, “we know there’s a lot of running off-camera. We also did a lot of things that involve paying attention to detail and problem solving.”
HOW IT’S GOING TO GET HEROIC: “Similar to season two when they went to Juno Beach,” Akash shares, “I think being in front of all the Canadian heroes from the war would be an experience. Any kind of challenge like that would be heroic and memorable for the two of us.”
WHAT COULD BRING THEM DOWN: “A building challenge and having to choose one of us to do it,” admits Akash. “Or not being able to notice a small detail on an individual challenge; that would be very difficult for us to watch the other do. But we would be supporting each other all the way through.”
Taylor and Courtney
WHO: RCMP officers and siblings, Taylor and Courtney from Cloverdale, B.C. are part of a Canadian policing family legacy.
WHY THEY’RE GOING TO WIN: “Communication,” according to Courtney, “team work and just putting our heads down, our tails up and getting it done.”
HOW IT’S GOING TO GET HEROIC: “Probably something that involves overcoming a fear or a phobia of ours. My fear,” Talylor shares, “I have a weird one… it’s swimming in the open ocean, because humans just don’t belong out there. It’s going to be a challenge that challenges our comfort zones. I think that’s when we’re going to have to dig really deep and show some kind of heroism to come out of that.”
WHAT COULD BRING THEM DOWN: “Being a sibling team,” says Taylor, “we obviously know each other very well and as a result we know how to get under each other’s skin. I hope it won’t happen but you never know when one of us might poke the beast and really rattle that cage.”
Courtney and Adam
WHO: Engaged first responders from Calgary, Courtney and Adam save lives every day and pride themselves on being role models for their community.
WHY THEY’RE GOING TO WIN: “One challenge, one leg, one day at a time. Don’t get ahead of ourselves and play on each other’s strengths,” Courtney shares. “We’re going to hopefully take turns having our weak moments and support each other through them.”
HOW IT’S GOING TO GET HEROIC: According to Adam, “It’s hard to get into the writers’ and producers’ heads and see what they have in store for us. But anything that makes a difference would be pretty cool. Maybe building a house in a third-world country or somewhere that’s had a disaster. A challenge that helps people out would be pretty cool.”
WHAT COULD BRING THEM DOWN: “A communication breakdown, probably,” Courtney admits, “where maybe we’re not on the same page and we’re both feeling super strongly about doing something a certain way and having a hard time coming to an agreement.”
Adam agrees, “That seems to be the breakdown in any situation of communication. That’s been a key thing for us, really our whole relationship, is just making sure we’re always improving our communication. Hopefully that doesn’t become a thing… but you never know.”
Mellisa and Nancy
WHO: Olympians Mellisa and Nancy know a lot about each other from their sporting lives but aren’t as familiar with each other as personally as some of the other duos are.
WHY THEY’RE GOING TO WIN: “It’s going to take lots of guts and determination,” Nancy asserts, “with some grit and kindness and add in a little bit of knowledge and wisdom.”
Melissa adds, “Really drawing on our past experiences from our respective sports and being able to compete under pressure and staying really calm. Making sure we read the clues fully is going to be a key part of everything. And pacing ourselves!”
HOW IT’S GOING TO GET HEROIC: “I would really like to see service to others,” says Nancy, “I have no idea what that could be but that’s my definition of a hero, is someone who serves others and it’s not about them.”
Mellisa adds, “Maybe it will be even a physical type challenge, like firefighters. The common thread of that would be helping somebody else, regardless of what that challenge might be.”
WHAT COULD BRING THEM DOWN: “Not reading the clues and taking the time to understand them first,” according to Nancy. “That’s where a lot of teams have failed in previous seasons; they just go off running. The plan is to take our time, read the clue, understand it and do the task once — not multiple times.”
Martina and Phil
WHO: Siblings from North Vancouver, Martina and Phil have together banked more than 10,000 hours volunteering with kids all around the globe.
WHY THEY’RE GOING TO WIN: Phil shares, “My sister’s a super energizer bunny that never stops, so I just have to help harness that energy in the right direction and that will help us win.”
And Martina’s right there to back him up, “My brother’s amazing. He did all the organizing for the prep of the show and I kind of tagged along. He was just so detail-oriented and I know he loves me because of his service. He put so much detail into helping me out.”
HOW IT’S GOING TO GET HEROIC: “Maybe like, save people out of a burning house,” says Martina. Phil’s take is similar, “There will be some sort of simulation involving a superhero act. Maybe like feeding the homeless?” Martina adds, “Or building a house for people who had their homes wrecked. Or building a well. I’d like to build a well for people who don’t have clean water.”
WHAT COULD BRING THEM DOWN: “Maybe our communication styles. We’re pretty different people,” Phil states. Martina adds, “I’m really hyper and emotional and crazy and out there, and my brother’s calmer and more logistical, rational, organized. I’ll always want to be moving. I push him to go, go go, and then he pushes me to slow, slow, slow. If we were both level-headed and too cautious we wouldn’t do a lot of things, and if we were too go, go, go it would just be pure chaos.”
Tune in on July 3rd at 8 p.m. ET for an all-new season on CTV.