The Amazing Race Canada’s eighth season ended on Tuesday with two Inuvialuit siblings finishing in second place out of 10 teams.
Jesse and Marika Cockney, who live in Canmore but were born in Yellowknife and have roots in Tuktoyaktuk, finished behind Catherine Wreford Ledlow of Winnipeg and teammate Craig Ramsay from Windsor, Ontario.
The final leg included jumping 20 feet from a helicopter into Caulfield Cove in West Vancouver, learning and performing Italian lyrics from a popular opera, and completing an obstacle course on old-school roller skates.
“It really was the amazing race,” said Jesse.
“We grew up watching this show and never thought we’d be on it, so it was great to have a chance to try the challenges and complete the race.”
The team came in first place three times during the season, something both siblings said they didn’t expect.
“It’s way harder than it looks from watching on the couch,” said Marika.
“There are all the other teams and the cameras are on you and it’s hard to stay focused but, at the same time, it was a lot more fun than from the couch.”
During filming of the show, competitors aren’t able to connect with the outside world. Social media and conversations with family and friends are restricted.
“In the moment, whatever you’re going through feels like the most challenging thing,” said Marika. “But looking back, the mental game of being disconnected and staying calm was the hardest part.”
“As adult siblings, we don’t get a chance to be brother and sister to each other as much as we did growing up,” said Jesse.
“We don’t have much time just the two of us as we did growing up, so it was a great opportunity to be a big brother to my little sister again.”