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In reality, TV show winners not up to the challenge

Several reality show stars who qualified for the World Team Challenge competition to be held in Citrus County are sidelined by injuries.

Published December 8, 2005

Fans of Survivor and Amazing Race are out of luck.

Some of the better-known winners of CBS' hit shows were supposed to compete in Citrus County this week as part of an international corporate adventure challenge that donates money to charity.

But now they won't be participating, because multiple injuries have sidelined several competitors.

"It's too bad, because I've been training my a-- off in the cold winter in New York City," Survivor: Africa winner Ethan Zohn said Wednesday in a phone interview. "So I've been eating Krispy Kremes all day instead."

Zohn; Tina Wesson, winner of Survivor: The Australian Outback in spring 2001; Burton Roberts, the 14th survivor voted off in the Pearl Island series; and Brennan Swain, who won Amazing Race 1, were originally scheduled to participate as celebrity competitors in the World Team Challenge, a two-day adventure race event that will be held Friday and Saturday, said John Hazan, World Team Challenge course director.

The World Team Challenge, an outdoor adventure race Super Bowl of sorts, is run by Challenger World, an international company in London that develops corporate team-building competitions. Companies pay Challenger World to enter five- to seven-person teams to compete in international events.

Originally, 27 top finishers from four "feeder' events - the Microsoft UK Challenge, the Cisco City Challenge in London, the Cisco Europe Challenge in Belgium and a U.S. Challenge held in Asheville, N.C., in October - were supposed to compete in the World Team Challenge.

Minus the celebrity team, only 26 teams will participate now, Challenger World public relations manager Kate Bickford said.

"Tina rolled her ankle in the U.S. Challenge, but was a real trooper and finished the race," Zohn said. "Reichen (Lehmkuhl), who was our fifth competitor, our alternate, ended up in a cast, and then Burton strained his knee in the month between the competition in North Carolina and this one.

"Personally I feel great and want to compete," Zohn said. "Challenger World has been one of my favorite races."

Zohn said he then called other reality show celebrities: Ryan Sutter from the Bachelor, Hunter Ellis from Survivor and Tim Beggy from Road Rules, among others. But he couldn't find any replacements.

"I was calling everyone, every reality star that was fit enough to compete," Zohn said. "It was just too short of notice."

Zohn and the rest of his team qualified for the World Team Challenger by finishing in the top 10 among other teams at the U.S. Challenge.

Dawn Reiss can be reached at 860-7303 or

[Last modified December 8, 2005, 00:49:13]

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