The Amazing Race is one of the most grueling shows on television. The popularity of the series has allowed it to reach the 30-season milestone and it shows no sign of stopping, with numerous spin-offs and localized versions being produced all around the world. While the producers take great care to ensure the safety of all the participants behind the scenes, the arduous tasks and challenges all but guarantee that at least a few challengers will sustain some type of injury.
The very worst injuries from The Amazing Race left the victims in incredible pain, and in some cases stopped them from being able to progress to the next stage.
Mark Abbattista was a contestant in Season 21 of The Amazing Race, working with teammate James LoMenzo. During one stage, he exacerbated an old knee injury which made competing in their final challenges incredibly painful. It was only after he left the show that doctors were able to determine that Abbattista had actually broken both of his tibia bones - although it wasn’t entirely clear when these breaks had occurred. In other words, he had participated in the final stages with two broken legs.
Fortunately, this injury didn’t play a part in his elimination. Abbattista and LoMenzo had their bags stolen, along with a passport, and were unable to acquire a new one in time to continue onto the next country after Russia.
Before she even appeared on The Amazing Race with Maya Warren, Amy DeJong already suffered from a leg injury. However, due to the strenuous nature of the program, the problem worsened, and it was clear DeJong had actually fractured her pelvis in several areas. Considering how physically demanding portions of the race were, this made the entire experience a constant battle with pain.
While the injury certainly played a role in slowing her down in many of the physical challenges, with some extra help from her teammate, DeJong was able to win Season 25.
During a surfing challenge on The Amazing Race Canada Season 2, Shawn King suffered a serious injury. He had been paddling in the water on his surfboard and dislocated his shoulder. “I was getting ready to meet the first one [wave] and I started paddling,” King said in an interview. “It was the second paddle with my right arm when it popped out.”
Although King and his wife and teammate Jen had discussed returning to the race after the arm was treated at the hospital, it didn’t prove to be an option. The trip to the medical center caused them to run out of time, and they were eliminated from the race before they had a chance to return.
Perhaps the most visually alarming injury sustained on The Amazing Race occurred during Season 7 of the show. Gretchen and Meredith Smith were forced to re-enter a cave after they failed to complete a challenge correctly. As they made their way through the dark and slippery cavern, Smith slipped. That resulted in a huge cut that ran the length of her face.
Medics were immediately called onto set to treat the bloody wound. Luckily, it wasn't nearly as severe as it looked. Although the team finished last in this leg of the race, it turned out to be a non-elimination round and they were able to continue on in the competition.