SINGAPORE : Nat Strand and Kat Chang, The Amazing Race's 2010 all-doctor team, made history last week.
Covering some 51,500km across four continents, the pair outran and outsmarted fellow finalists Brook and Claire, and Jill and Thomas, who were the second- and third-placed teams respectively, to become the first all-female team to win the million-dollar race around the globe in the popular American reality programme's 17-year history.
Apparently, though, it only required a medical degree to achieve this.
Speaking to journalists over the phone from Los Angeles where the two young doctors currently reside and work, Kat admitted that their medical training – having learnt how to deal with stressful situations and being up and running for “24 to 36 hours” – did actually make a difference.
When asked why she thought it had taken such a long while for an all-female team to top the pack, Kat quipped: “Because they never had us on the race before.”
In all honesty though, the California native acknowledged that they took little for granted. “We both before the race believed that we could be the winners, but we've also watched enough of the race to know that at any given point you could also have a bad cab driver … or a donkey or a camel that doesn't want to behave.”
It wasn't until the last leg, when Nat, 31, and Kat, 35, were on the plane from Korea to Los Angeles that they dared voice their optimism.
“Nat turned to me and said: 'I have a really good feeling about this.' And I said to her: 'So do I – I think we're going to win.'
“That was the first time we really thought so, but it wasn't until we were in the cab on the way to the (final) pit stop that we both looked at each other and realised … we're pretty sure we are in first place and I think we might actually win this if our cab driver gets us there on time.”
Lady Luck's unpredictable nature and overcoming personal hurdles aside, Nat and Kat were also the team that bickered the least. They were not the fastest or the most charmed, but arguably the most composed of the lot when thrown into the thick of the action or when push came to shove.
“We really balanced each other well and I think that is the key,” Kat added.
So how much does being the first all-female team to nab the top spot mean to them?
“It's a huge honour,” Kat declared. “Just because there had been so many great teams before. It's extremely difficult to win the race anyway, and for us, we just tried to do everything we could to maximise our strengths … instead of being stronger, you had to sometimes be smarter.”
And what would a couple of doctors need a share of US$1 million (S$1.3 million) for? Well, according to Kat, a portion will be going to charity and research on diabetes (which her partner Nat suffers from) and to pay off debts from medical school.
Channel News Asia