Learn­ing to HOST

Winnipeg Free Press - SundayXtra - - SPORTS SPECIAL - By Nick Patch

TORONTO — Though the first sea­son of was such a rat­ings suc­cess that CTV rushed to re­new as print­ing to the mat, host Jon Mont­mery can’t help but see one area in ch the show needs to im­prove as it ds into its sopho­more year. he host, he says, needs to be bet­ter. Ob­vi­ously I need lots of work to cone to find my voice and my pace and rhythm and my feel for the show,” nt­gomery told The Cana­dian Press be­fore the teams were to be­gin ng. ust be­com­ing, I guess, more aware of what role in this pro­duc­tion is all about. As I ome more fa­mil­iar with what people are ting of me, and how I can breathe in more y per­son­al­ity to it, I’ll maybe feel bet­ter ut the job that’s been done in the fu­ture, as go along. m def­i­nitely try­ing to grow with the show. to think I’ve got it di­alled and I’m Mr. t With the Most would be — oh my God, a s over­state­ment. think,” he added, “that’s when you get pla­cent in life and you don’t con­tinue to w.” eading into the show’s first sea­son, the me-haired 35-year-old was best-known to adi­ans as the skele­ton racer who cel­e­bratis gold medal vic­tory at the 2010 Van­couGames by march­ing down the street, belng O Canada and swig­ging beer straight m a pitcher. s host, Mont­gomery’s su­per­sonic vo­cal dery — he was an auc­tion­eer, af­ter all — and per de­meanour set him in stark con­trast m Phil Keoghan’s coolly stoic ap­proach to ing the pop­u­lar Amer­i­can ver­sion of the w. s far as what he specif­i­cally wants to work Mont­gomery feels he might be ca­pa­ble of wing more out of the “mat chats,” oth­ere known as the brief, some­times emo­tion­charged in­ter­ac­tions be­tween the host and eams fi­nally reach­ing their goal in each ode. Hav­ing a bet­ter idea of my role and what’s ected of me, I hope to be able to have some est, le­git­i­mate con­ver­sa­tions with the rs and find out what’s mak­ing them tick,” aid. ont­gomery was speak­ing be­fore the nd Amaz­ing Race Canada — which pre­mieres July 8 on CTV — had ac­tu­ally be­gun, but he felt he could make cer­tain dec­la­ra­tions about the up­com­ing sea­son with cer­tainty.

For one thing, he promised a “gnarlier” slate of chal­lenges — a threat that qual­i­fies as al­most sadis­tic for those who re­mem­ber watch­ing ag­o­nized teams dig through truck­loads of lentils to lo­cate tiny stuffed moose.

And for those who felt some­what cheated by the first sea­son’s out­come — the Win­nipeg pair of Tim Hague Sr. and Jr. tri­umph­ing de­spite hav­ing fin­ished last in two sep­a­rate legs — he was hope­ful the show’s sec­ond in­stal­ment would fol­low a dif­fer­ent story arc.

“The Tims from last year, I don’t think, were an im­mi­nent threat,” he said can­didly. “I think Tim and Tim, they got lucky. They were al­most elim­i­nated twice. They got saved by non-elim­i­na­tion legs. And the only leg they ul­ti­mately won was the last one. It’s the only one you need to win but in that breath, I don’t think Tim and Tim were the strong­est team (even though) they were the ul­ti­mate win­ners.

“I think this sea­son you’re go­ing to see the strong­est team win,” he added. “I’ll put money on that right now.”

Go­ing into the first sea­son, Mont­gomery was still har­bour­ing Olympic am­bi­tion and planned to tai­lor his train­ing reg­i­men to the show’s de­mand­ing travel sched­ule.

That’s no longer a con­cern, given that Mont­gomery de­cided to re­tire from skele­ton rac­ing af­ter fail­ing to qual­ify for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Though he re­ally prefers not to use the word “re­tire.”

“I’m 35 — I don’t re­ally con­sider my­self re­tired. I con­sider my­self an ath­lete that quit do­ing ath­let­ics or at least com­pet­i­tive sports.”

Well, even “quit” is a strong word, given Mont­gomery’s fond­ness for pon­der­ing his next ath­letic move.

“I’ve al­ways mused about how awe­some it would be to train for a sport where you can sit down and fire at tar­gets... Maybe pis­tol shoot­ing is in my fu­ture?” he said with a smile. “Maybe if they bring mixed curl­ing into the Olympics, my­self and my wife can be­come avid curlers.

“But I can’t just let the com­pet­i­tive spirit die.”

Orig­i­nally from Rus­sell, Mont­gomery and his wife Darla — also a skele­ton racer — re­cently moved from Cal­gary to Vic­to­ria.

And tour­ing about his new home again got Mont­gomery’s imag­i­na­tion per­co­lat­ing.

“I saw a lawn bowl­ing green. I was like, lawn bowl­ing? I’d love to go lawn bowl­ing. So it’s go­ing to be me and the blue-haired ladies and the white-haired gen­tle­men in white pants, white shirts.

“I’m go­ing to be out there lawn bowl­ing with the 80-year- olds in Vic­to­ria this (year). I can’t wait. I’m look­ing for­ward to it. That’s go­ing to be my real re­tire­ment. A blue leisure suit.”

— The Cana­dian Press

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS / CTV

Tim Hague Sr. and Tim Jr. cel­e­brate win­ning the first Amaz­ing Race

Canada with host Jon Mont­gomery (left).

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