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Calgary couple crowned champions of 'The Amazing Race Canada'

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Calgary couple Ty Smith and Kat Kastner were crowned champions of The Amazing Race Canada on Tuesday night.

Smith and Kastner have been dating for 5 years and decided to put their relationship to the ultimate test, competing in the race spanning six provinces, 11 cities and more than 12,000 kilometers from coast-to-coast.

“It’s a vulnerable experience and it’s scary to put yourself out there and we knew it was going to be tough and challenging,” said Kastner.

“We kind of just figured ‘why not?’ and let’s see what we can do and push our limits and imagine if we came out and won it.”

Smith grew up in Leduc while Kastner is a born and raised Calgarian, but the pair call Calgary home now.

The cross-country competition concluded in Halifax, N.S. where the final three teams had to perform a military drill from a helicopter, race on jet skis, and solve a challenging crossword puzzle before sprinting to the finish line.

It was neck and neck right to the bitter end, but Smith and Kastner arrived first at the final pit stop to win the grand prize of two new vehicles, a round-the-world trip for two and $250,000.

The couple started out strong in the competition, coming in first place in several legs early in the season, but as teams started to dwindle, the target on their backs and the pressure began to grow.

“I think the hardest part of the competition was definitely leg nine in Toronto,” said Smith.

“But I also think it was the perfect opportunity for us to reach that low point before things really started to heat up and I think that tested us in a lot of ways not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.”

It was in those low moments that the couple would remember who they were honouring by competing in this race.

“We were guided by 16 angels the entire way,” said Smith, referring to his fellow teammates and staff from the Humboldt Broncos hockey team who died in a bus crash on April 6, 2018.

“You always wonder if they are watching over and wonder if they are guiding you and I think now we can boil it down to: they were always there.”

Both Smith and Kastner are mental health advocates and often wore Humboldt Broncos wristbands and hats, or their “Not Alone: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” sweaters throughout the series.

After having to keep the outcome a secret for months, the couple can now finally enjoy their sweet victory and let the real adventure begin.

“Portugal, Greece and Italy,” said Smith. “We will see them in about a week!”

Ahead of Tuesday’s season finale, CTV announced The Amazing Race Canada will be returning for a tenth season with casting details to be announced soon.

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