The Amazing Race: The Yak Chats with Chuck and Wynona

Chuck and Wynona McCall
Chuck and Wynona McCall

After making their way to Switzerland, the Amazing Race teams had the difficult task of trudging through snow to collect rescue dogs, traverse the side of a cliff, and a facing a Switchback that brought up one of the most memorable tasks in Amazing Race history – the downhill cheese sled. Many of the teams struggled to transport the 50-pound wheels of cheese down the snow covered hill using the provided sled, so the husband and wife team of Chuck and Wynona McCall decided to roll the cheese down the hill and chase after it. While it worked to get the task done quicker, the pair learned at the Pit Stop that they incorrectly transported the cheese, so they incurred a 30-minute penalty. During that time, the other teams checked in and ended Chuck and Wynona’s dreams of the million dollar prize. The Yak sat down with the eliminated team to discuss their time on the race.


The Yak: It was a difficult elimination to watch, and I’m sure it must have been hard to get taken out of the game based on missing a step in the clue instructions. Since you had a 30-minute penalty before checking in, how close was Joey and Meghan to you after you made it to the Pit Stop?
Wynona: We were there, we checked in, and Phil told us we were fifth. We were all excited and happy. Then, Phil came back to us and said that we had a penalty we received, and we would have to wait out the 30 minutes. We were probably 15 to 20 minutes into the penalty, and then here comes Meghan and Joey. We didn’t know it was Meghan and Joey. It could have been anybody, since we didn’t know who was behind us. We knew that we were last off the hill, but we had no clue who it was.

The Yak: It had to be tough to know that you were only 10 minutes from making it through to the next leg.
Chuck: It was definitely difficult. Our smiles turned to frowns really quickly.

The Yak: Chuck, our members have been following you both all season, and now that you’ve had a chance to watch yourself on the show, they wanted to know if you feel bad for the ways that you treated Wynona during your time on the race?
Chuck: Yeah, when I look back and I see Wynona tearing up because she doesn’t think she can keep up with me, it definitely tugged on my heart strings to see her like that. In our normal, everyday life, we’re not under that much stress and we don’t act like that to each other, so it hurt to see me act like that toward her.

The Yak: You see it happen time and time again with teams on the race, where they snap at each other after being under that kind of stress day after day. It was good to see you mention during the exit interview that no matter what, you are both still a couple and it was nice to see the love you have for each other.
Chuck: We’re still together. We were never really pitted against each other in a competition like that. She’s the greatest mom, the greatest housewife, the greatest wife that anybody could ask for, so when she’s put in a spot where she feels like she has to keep up with me, since I like to get out and run like a gazelle and I was expecting her to do the same, so I think that’s where some of the bickering came into play. If I could take it back, I would.

Chuck and Wynona read the next clue
Chuck and Wynona read the next clue

The Yak: Obviously, you are really close with each other and you’ve been together a long time, but was there anything on the race that taught you something new about each other?
Chuck: When we got on the race, I told her that I would motivate her with kisses and hugs, but then it turned into “Faster. Come on! Come on!” Wynona is a trooper. We hung in there for eight legs in the race, even through being jet lagged and tired from no sleep. It really wasn’t that great, but I’m very proud of her. She made me proud of her through the whole race, and I wanted to get that out there.

The Yak: Wynona, are you proud of yourself for accomplishing things that you might not have had the opportunity to do without the race, like scaling the rock wall?
Wynona: I’m definitely proud of myself for finishing eight legs of the race. I never thought we’d even get chosen to go on the race, but to get that far even with me being injured at the beginning, it was amazing. Chuck really thought we were going to be out. It started with him being ticked off at me when I pulled a muscle before we even left, which hindered me the entire way, so I’m very proud of myself for making it through eight legs of the race with an injured leg.

The Yak: We hadn’t seen any of that backstory, so it’s impressive to see what you were able to accomplish with an injury.
Wynona: It was hard to run for the first couple of legs during the race. I really couldn’t run, so having a couple of long flights really helped us out, but it was making Chuck mad that I was injured. It was just like the father and son [David and Connor], when he got injured. I mean, nobody wants to get injured as you end up with limitations on what you can do and how far you can go.

The Yak: What was your biggest challenge during the race?
Chuck: As far as the Road Blocks or physical challenges we did, my biggest challenge was Vietnam. When we were over there, we had a bad day because we couldn’t communicate with anybody. Everything was “No problem! No problem!”, but we’d end up on the other side of town. We couldn’t get a taxi that would get us to the right place. That definitely sticks out in my mind as one of the toughest parts.
Wynona: My biggest challenge was the communication in places we went where they didn’t speak English. It was very hard. You couldn’t get from point A to point B with anyone who spoke English.

The Yak: Did you do anything special to prepare for the race once you found out you had been selected?
Wynona: We both did different things. We still had to handle our home life, as we have kids and had a house to take care of. I went to the gym and trained on my own at home. Plus, I tried to gather the items that I thought we’d need for the race, but you don’t get a lot of instructions for that. You plan on going from extreme hot to extreme cold, so you pack what you want to carry in your backpack and you try to be prepared for every scenario. As far as working out and things like that, we did.
Chuck: I went out and bought a world map, so I could study it. I was trying to do my homework in learning the dangerous cities and countries. I tried to spend more time looking at the map then in physically working out, as I thought I was in pretty good shape at the time. I got more into the studying the map type of working out.

The Yak: Probably a smart move! Did you get a chance to get close with any of the other teams, and have you been able to keep in touch since the race ended?
Wynona: Yeah, we keep in touch with pretty much all of them. We were pretty close with Max and Katie and the country singers [Caroline and Jen] and the hockey team [Anthony and Bates]. That was our group.
Chuck: Wynona is online with them all the time. Actually, Anthony has come down here and played hockey in our area, so we ran over and got to watch him play hockey, too. Those three other teams are probably our closest.

Chuck helps Wynona up the snow covered hill
Chuck helps Wynona up the snow covered hill

The Yak: So, what’s next for the two of you?
Chuck: We want to come back for [Amazing Race] Unfinished Business, so we can straighten this out. [laughs]
Wynona: I’m going to ship him off to Survivor, so we can see how he does by himself.
The Yak: That would definitely be entertaining to watch. I’m sure a lot of people would tune in to see that. [Chuck and Wynona laugh]

The Yak: Thanks so much for your time! We wish both of you the best of luck!
Wynona: Thanks!
Chuck: Thank you!

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