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Dave and Connor O’Leary‘s time on The Amazing Race didn’t end the way they thought it would.
The father-son team — both cancer survivors — chose to withdraw from the competition in Sunday night’s episode after the elder O’Leary tore his Achilles tendon in a previous leg of the race. Despite his injury, the duo still managed to finish the legs at the front of the pack, but under the advice of a doctor, the O’Learys decided it was best that Dave get home to have surgery before irreparable damage was done.
PHOTOS: ‘Amazing Race’ Season 22: Meet the Teams
On Monday, they talked with The Hollywood Reporter about their “heartbreaking” end and whether Dave has fully healed.
The Hollywood Reporter: What happened after you left show?
Dave O’Leary: I came home and had surgery on my Achilles and started rehab. It’s been a process. It was an ugly surgery.
THR: How are you doing today?
Dave: It’s doing pretty well. It’s a long recovery process. I didn’t realize how long. They say it will be a year until I’m fully recovered. I’ve been able to get on a bike, but it’ll be a couple months until I’m able to run again. I’m staying active.
THR: How hard was it to be forced to withdraw from competition?
Dave: It was really heartbreaking. I’m an emotional guy anyway, so it was hard to leave.
THR: Connor, you seemed to take it pretty well and were very supportive of your father throughout the competition.
Connor O’Leary: Yeah, we have a pretty close bond.
VIDEO: Connor O’Leary Takes the Plunge out of a Helicopter on ‘Amazing Race’
THR: You said in the episode that a doctor suggested you leave. Can you explain what happened?
Dave: We were leaving Bali, and I got an email from an orthopedic surgeon who took tests in Tahiti. He said ideally I should have surgery within seven days and no longer than 14 days. Connor and I decided at that point; it was past seven days already and we wanted to be within 14. Frankly, we weren’t sure how long the next leg would be. I really decided that being healthy was more important than that leg of the race. So we flew back home.
THR: Despite your injury, you were still front-runners, which was pretty impressive. Could you have kept going?
Connor: We were in the top three in every leg we did, and even on the crutches, we were still pretty proficient in getting things done. It was a bummer to pull out, but we had to get his leg taken care of.
THR: Would you compete again if asked?
Connor: Oh, in a heartbeat.
Dave: I wish we could be on the next season.
The Amazing Race airs at 8 p.m. Sundays on CBS.
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