(photo: cwhl.ca)

There are not a ton of ways you can prepare for an adventure like The Amazing Race Canada, but going through a year of intense physical and mental training, not to mention winning an Olympic gold medal definitely doesn’t hurt.

Meaghan Mikkelson and Natalie Spooner are one of 11 teams competing in the second season of the show, which premieres July 8 on CTV. Like its sister shows, The Amazing Race Canada pits duos against one another in an epic travel-thon peppered with challenges, setbacks, and eliminations. It’s a race which requires as much dumb luck as it does skill and strategy.

“Even if they found out that we’re Olympians, I think they would still underestimate us a little bit,” Mikkelson said of the competition. “They might think we had the physical component, but we’re smart, too.”

They certainly do have the physical toughness component locked down; Mikkelson played the entire gold-medal game with a broken hand, and Spooner registered four points in five games (with two goals and two assists). The Amazing Race has always drawn in viewership with its epic meltdowns and tragic flameouts, but if anyone can handle that kind of pressure, it’s these two.

Of course, the manufactured pressure of a reality show is a whole different beast from the weight of being Canadian hockey players during the winter Olympics (#WeAreWinter, anybody?). When athletes take home gold, they do it as an athletic synecdoche in which everyone watching at home wins with them.

By contrast, winning The Amazing Race would mean taking home $250,000, new cars, sweet deals on Air Canada, and gas for life from Petro Canada.

“We just want the race to start already. We’re ready to go,” Spooner said.

No kidding — gas for life! Have you seen gas prices these days? It’s worth its weight in gold.

Molly is not an athlete. She quickly got used to winning the “Best Smile” award at her family's Summer Olympics (an award made up especially for her by her grandmother, who felt bad that she never won anything else). But as they say, "Those who cannot do, write about it from the sidelines and provide orange slices at half time."

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