Stéphane and Antoine Tétreault say taking a penalty in Vietnam was not ‘giving up’ as they had no other option.
The father and son team decided they couldn’t continue the Roadblock that required Stéphane to herd 20 ducks into a pen when the extreme heat started taking a toll on him.
“Three hours in total sunshine, 53 degrees, no clouds, it got the best of me,” says Stéphane.
One of the reasons it took Stéphane longer to complete the Roadblock was because he was also helping the other teams separate their ducks into the pen.
“I started helping the other teams thinking that they would help back. Unfortunately that did not materialize.”
Antoine, who was watching from the sideline, wasn’t happy with his dad’s decision.
“We’re very nice people, we like to help people out, that’s how we are in real life. I think in the context of the ‘Race’ you have to be smart about how you help people and I think that’s what was frustrating for me. I think the mistake my dad made, it was not helping people, it was not making it clear, ‘Hey I’m helping you (and) after you are done let’s do mine.’”
Stéphane was still working at the challenge when all the other teams left and made a decision he could no longer continue as it was a threat to his health.
“There was no other option. My body was shutting down,” says Stéphane. “I was really delusional. It was getting very dangerous to my health.”
After being assessed by medics (something that fellow racer Tanya also needed) and having a chance to cool down, Stéphane and Antoine decided to continue. Antoine picked up the slack in the following coconut Detour and carried both backpacks to make it easier on his dad.
“He couldn’t do much and I knew it and I was just like, ‘You know what it’s my turn to push through so let me just power through this challenge’ and that’s what I did. It allowed us to check into the mat … I told my dad, ‘I don’t care if we have to wait hours until you recuperate until we get started on the Detour but I will not walk to the mat and accept two penalties.’”
But despite the difficulties in Vietnam, both Stéphane and Antoine say running ‘The Amazing Race Canada’ was an experience like none other.
“It was life-changing,” says Stéphane.
“I’ve done some really cool stuff in my life … but when I think about the ‘Race’ I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun as I did during that period in time,” echoes Antoine.
Running the ‘Race’ together was also especially meaningful for the father and son.
“Nobody will be able to understand the bond that’s been created, what we went through, the emotions, the compassion. Me seeing (Antoine push),” says Stéphane.
“(My dad) had the chance to show me what he’s got and I’m very proud of that and I think I had the chance to show him what I’ve got and it just makes us very proud of each other,” adds Antoine.
“I think that’s the best thing you can ask for and that’s brought us a lot closer.”