One of the things we love most about The Amazing Race Canada is that each season typically features at least one team of notable athletes who remind us just how far a positive attitude and good teamwork can take you on a stressful jaunt like this.
This season that team may very well be Olympian track stars Sarah Wells and Sam Effah. The Team Canada teammates are one of the 10 teams taking part in this year’s Second Chances edition of the race, and the Torontonians say that even though they’ve been watching the show for years (Effah is a big fan), they never thought about applying until they saw this year’s theme.
“When I saw that season seven was going to be about resilience, a lightbulb kind of went on in my head, Effah says. “Like this is what me and Sarah have gone through,” the native Calgarian shares.
They’ve both made epic comebacks from injuries
It’s no secret that professional athletes put their bodies through a lot, but Wells and Effah seem to embody that. Years ago, Effah faced a pretty brutal injury training for the Olympics when he tore both his hips. Doctors told him that without surgery his sprinting days were over, and with surgery he had a 50 per cent chance of returning. These days he’s training for the 2020 Olympics.
“It was upsetting but also motivating because I had to push,” he says. “I went to the Commonwealth Games last year and I’m hungry to do it. When I think of resilience I think of that.”
Wells has a similar story. She was sidelined during her first Olympics with an injury that was supposed to take three months to heal, but it wound up taking nine months instead.
“It was just heartbreaking to be told month after month, ‘Nope sorry not healed. Nope sorry not healed.’ I had to keep moving to get back up, to believe it was possible,” she says. “I’ve had the ups, I’ve had the downs. So has Sam. We know we can rely on each other, that we are both gritty, we’re willing to choose to get back up every single time. That’s why we knew. We saw the title, and we were like, ‘That’s us.’”
A golden future
We’ve seen many injuries on TARC over the years, which kind of has us worried for this team given how much they’ve gone through to get back on the Olympic circuit. The racers aren’t worried though. In addition to being competitive athletes they’re also motivational speakers who want to show others that stepping outside of your comfort zone and going after big goals—even when you can’t guarantee the outcome—can yield big results.
“I’m clumsy, I may hurt myself walking down the stairs,” Effah says. “Realistically I knew potential injury was something we would have to face so we’re focused on being very careful and meticulous at what we do and like training, everything has to be absolutely on point. We’re not trying to get injured, we know that’s a reality. We’ve been through it. And I think if something does happen we know what we have to do to get back on it. At the end of the day we’re here to race and we’re going to do the best we can to not only stay healthy but to win.”
We know we’ll be cheering them on when The Amazing Race Canada kicks off Tuesday, July 2 at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.