Friday, 25 July 2014

Hat trick for Spooner and Mikkelson on third leg of Amazing Race Canada

The hot streak continues for Natalie Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson as they successfully captured the third leg of The Amazing Race Canada. It would prove to be a historic accomplishment for these female hockey heroes. Of note, the third leg took place in Hong Kong, in an episode titled “Snakes and Liars”, the first time that Amazing Race Canada was contested overseas.

Leaving first from Tofino, BC among the nine remaining teams, it was a point of pride for Spooner and Mikkelson as they were the first Amazing Race Canada contestants headed towards an overseas destination. Throughout the early legs of the races, they have set a standard of excellence for the rest to attempt to emulate. As the rest of the teams would soon discover, the arrival in Hong Kong would prove to be highly eventful.

The first aspect of the third leg in the race featured registration for a morning blessing from a group of monks at Ngong Ping Village. This was followed by a challenging 268 step ascension to the giant Tian Tan Buddha statue. The athleticism of Spooner and Mikkelson certainly gave them an advantage. Among the three teams that registered for the first morning blessing (two more would follow later in the day); Spooner and Mikkelson would set a strong tone for the rest of the leg.

Employing strategy, Spooner and Mikkelson would wisely use an Express Pass to skip the first detour of the third leg. It would prove to be the turning point in helping them secure their third consecutive victory. The roadblock would prove to be a highly time consuming affair for the remainder of the teams. Choosing from engaging in the choreography of a daily kung fu ritual, or the attempt to fulfill the shopping list of famed chef Alvin Leung, also a judge on MasterChef Canada, many of the teams would fall behind quickly.
With such a significant lead already built, Spooner and Mikkelson were already on the next part of the leg. Surprisingly, the setting did not discourage this remarkable duo. Mikkelson showed composure in an otherwise unforeseen situation. While it may be a delicacy in many parts of the world, the consumption of a bowl of soup featuring a chopped snake is a popular dish in Hong Kong, perhaps a staple food.

Not only did Mikkelson handle the snake with her bare hands, she looked very calm in the process. Having to drink snake bile (a black liquid substance squeezed out of the snake), Mikkelson drank it back without reservation. Afterwards, she would eat the bowl of soup, while Spooner encouraged her to eat crackers if it helped.

Consuming the bowl quickly, Mikkelson led the charge towards the final challenge in the leg of the race. Considering that other teams were still struggling with the first leg, it became clear that a third straight victory was eminent.  

Having reached the final challenge, Spooner and Mikkelson were in front of a statue honoring legendary martial artist and film star Bruce Lee. Miming various movie action scenes in order to complete the challenge, including the pose of the Lee statue, the hockey heroes quickly fulfilled the requirements. In so doing, many curious tourists were snapping photos with their smart phones, likely not knowing that these two world class athletes are among a group of athletic role models in their native Canada.

Reaching the Pit Stop at Kowloon Walled City Park first, Spooner and Mikkelson became the first Amazing Race Canada competitors to win a leg of the race in an international setting. With the win, they earned an additional $2000 to add to their ScotiaBank Gold credit cards. Complementing the cash windfall was a vacation to any location that Air Canada flies in China. While winning is almost old hat for these two, hockey fans are enjoying it.

The experience will only be enhanced for fans as a viewing party for the fourth leg of the race will be hosted by Spooner in her native Toronto. With the fourth leg taking part at the island of Macau, one of Asia’s most popular gambling spots, it shall be interesting to see what unfolds for our hockey heroes. 

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