December 13th, 2010
Last Night, Kat & Nat won Amazing Race Season 17. The pair of doctors became the first ever all-female team to win on the Amazing Race series. They each had to overcome challenges during the race. Kat Chang had to give up her vegetarian diet by eating a sheep’s head and overcoming her fear of heights, while Nat Strand dealt with diabetes through the race.The pair was one of the final three teams soar to new heights over Southern California, competing in the final leg for a shot at the million-dollar prize. What will the do with their winnings? Kat Chang plans to donate to charity, pay off part of my medical school loans and bring some loved ones on a sweet vacation, while Nat Strand will donate money to support challenged athletes, support the search for a cure for Diabetes, pay off her debts from medical school, and buy a baby blue vintage Bronco with the top chopped off. You can see the full episode .
Amazing Race Season 17 Finale Recap:
Teams flew from Korea back to American soil. Landing in Los Angeles, doctors Nat & Kat took the lead out of the airport. Cruising down the freeway, Nat told their driver, “I’m glad you’re a fast driver. We really needed a good taxi driver today.” Maintaining their lead, the doctors arrived at the Port of Long Beach where Nat anxiously noted the cranes and “platforms high up in the air.” She later added, “Heights are not my thing. It’s my biggest fear.” Opening their clue, the doctors learned they had to ride a tiny elevator to the top of a massive gantry crane, get strapped into a bungee swing, and plummet 150-feet towards the water. Once they got back to the pier and climbed to dry land, they could open their next clue.
As the doctor’s geared up for a terrifying plunge, a visibly nervous Nat told her partner, “Let’s just go fast. I don’t want to have time to think about it.” Taking the long ride up in the small elevator, Nat asked the guide helping her and Kat, “For what portion can I have my eyes closed?” Walking along the gangplank towards the bungee swing, Kat offered words of encouragement to Nat as she was about to face her greatest fear. Nat told herself, “Mind over matter.” The doctors got strapped into the bungee swing as Nat gripped the rope for dear life quietly crying. After a word of warning, the bungee swing released from the bridge and the doctors began to fall and then swing high above the Pacific Ocean. Both doctors screamed with excitement and exhilaration and Nat even had a smile on her face as she shouted, “Thank God I’m still alive!” After returning to solid ground, Nat & Kat ripped open their clue instructing them to take a helicopter ride to a surprise destination.
Nat & Kat kept their lead as they jumped into a helicopter and admired the incredible view of Los Angeles from the sky. Nat joked, “This is totally the way to travel in L.A.” The mystery destination became incredibly clear for all the teams when the famous Rose Bowl stadium came into sight. Landing in the parking lot outside of the Rose Bowl, doctors Nat & Kat opened their clue to find the last Roadblock of the race. In it, one team member had to work on a float that would normally take 10,000 man-hours to complete by painstakingly decorate three sections of the official float of the Tournament of Roses Organization. If they could finish the work to the satisfaction of the floral director, the 2009 Rose Queen would give them their next clue.
Nat ran over to the large and imposing float, inspected the first section, and decided she needed to use white mums to decorate it. After applying glue to the area, Nat ripped off the tops of the mum flowers at the stem and affixed them onto the float, saying, “I like interior decorating, but I’m not an artist by any means. I’m definitely a left-brained kind of girl.” With her first section fully adorned in white mums, Nat began the second section, made out of yellow and white Styrofoam, by putting yellow and white roses into plastic holders and then putting the roses in its matching colored area. As the other two teams entered the roadblock, Nat moved onto her third and final section, a giant pink cardboard rose. Nat picked up a brush and applied glue to the petals before adding finely ground straw that clung on each petal to give a beautiful finish. Asking to have her work checked, Nat received passing grades for her white mums and straw flower, but the floral director told Nat she didn’t prep her roses correctly. Going back to the example, Nat now noticed that each plastic holder had water inside, so she now had to take out each rose she placed in the Styrofoam, remove it from its holder, add water, and then place it back on the float. As Nat slowly corrected her mistake, Thomas inched closer to overtaking the doctor, but she still managed to finish the task first and earn the next clue.
Opening the clue, Nat & Kat faced a series of three questions whose answers would lead them to their next destination. First, “I am Sancho Panza’s master.” Second, “I am the place to hear The Symphony in the Glen.” Third, “Monroe’s Year of the Itch.” Not knowing how to immediately solve these riddles, the doctors thought to ask taxi drivers they approached if the driver had an iPhone for information. Not finding a driver who knew any of the answers or had a smart phone, Nat & Kat wasted enough time deciding on what taxi to take that Thomas finished his float decoration. Finally agreeing to just use a driver’s cell phone instead, the doctors jumped into a taxi ahead of second place Jill & Thomas. Using the phone, the doctors got the information they needed that Sancho Panza was a character in Don Quixote. From this, they pieced together they needed to travel to Quixote Studios and used their call to information even further by getting the answer to the second riddle, Griffith Park, the location of Quixote Studios. The doctors didn’t need help with the third riddle, Marilyn Monroe’s famous movie, The Seven Year Itch, directing them to Stage 7 at the Studio.
Doctors Nat & Kat arrived at Quixote Studios in first place. Game shows have been filmed in Hollywood soundstages since the beginning of television. Now, after twelve exhausting legs of the race, teams would find out if they’ve really been paying attention to everything around them. Flashing high above the teams were pictures of 48 different people wearing hats. 11 of those people were greeters who welcomed them into the Pit Stops. Using the control pad in front of them, teams had to select the 11 greeters and put them on their own television screens in the correct order. When they did, legendary game show host Bob Eubanks would hand them their next clue.
Being led onto the giant game show set by Bob Eubanks, Nat & Kat took their place at a podium and began to study the giant board in front of them flashing faces of greeters from past and present races. The doctors quickly identified the knight from Eastnor Castle in Leg 1, but their problems began trying to remember the two greeters in Ghana. To help them recall, the doctors took out their book of notes they meticulously wrote during their journey and slowly pieced together each of the 11 greeters until one remained, the second greeter in St. Petersburg. Nat noticed the officer from Peter and Paul Fortress in the bottom corner of the board to complete their correct list of greeters. Running over to Bob Eubanks, Nat & Kat ripped open their clue instructing them to travel by taxi through Los Angeles’ congested streets to the Finish Line at Greystone Mansion.
Nat & Kat stressed out in their taxi as they faced typical afternoon rush hour traffic. Nat worried, “We’re on surface streets. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.” When they barely moved an inch, Nat added, “It’s so hard to sit here in gridlock traffic.” Unaware that Brook & Claire identified all the greeters and now barreled towards Greystone Mansion on the faster freeway, Nat worried, “They could definitely pass us.” With history at stake, both teams anxiously endured the longest taxi rides of their lives, hoping that they would win the big prize and become the first winning all-female team.
As the eight eliminated teams clapped for the historic moment at Greystone Mansion, doctors Nat & Kat ran from their taxi and approached the mat where Phil stood waiting. After 4 continents, 30 cities, and 32,000 miles, Phil officially declared doctors Nat & Kat winners of The Amazing Race along with the one million dollar prize. Speaking about Nat living and running the race with diabetes, Kat said, “Of course I knew she had a lot of strength, but the degree has just boggled my mind. It hasn’t been easy, but she’s never once complained. I just couldn’t be more proud of her.” Co-winner Nat summed it up for her team, finishing, “It’s about time a girl-girl team won The Amazing Race. We’re both just really proud and honored to be that team. It’s been one of the best experiences of our entire lives.”
Nat & Kat offer their thoughts after becoming the first all-female team to win the race.
Nat and Kat chat with Phil about Nat’s diabetes as well as their experiences racing around the globe
The doctors eagerly anticipate seeing Phil at the Finish Line
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