TORONTO -- Contestants on The Amazing Race Canada were unanimously excited when informed the show would be hosted by Olympic gold medallist Jon Montgomery -- once they realized who he was, that is.
"Were they like who? Who? The beer guy?" Montgomery asks.
Well, actually, yes.
But the flame-haired 34-year-old from Russell has no issue with the fact he's still best-known to Canadians not for hurtling to a surprise gold medal in men's skeleton at the 2010 Vancouver Games, but for how he celebrated afterward: gleefully marching through a crowd of elated Canucks while chugging a pitcher of beer.
"If I could pick between being known as an Olympic gold medallist or the beer guy, I would pick the beer guy," Montgomery said in a recent interview -- his words tumbling out at Olympic speed -- before again revisiting the circumstances of his golden day.
"That lady that was kind enough to hand me a pitcher of beer, it was like she was angelic, there was this aura about her and... I was so thirsty at that moment in time," he recalled. "As a good old Manitoba boy, you show your appreciation for someone buying you a drink by taking a good hearty swill of it.
"I think Canadians can't necessarily see themselves flying down a frozen toilet chute on a cafeteria tray with rails head-first at 140 km/h, but Canadians can see themselves celebrating a goal accomplished... in a uniquely Canadian style with a pitcher of suds. And I think that leant them some access to the moment."
It was a marquee moment for Games broadcaster CTV too, so it's not surprising the network decided upon Montgomery as host of its new race-around-Canada reality show, which will launch with considerable fanfare on July 15.
-- The Canadian Press