An Okotoks athlete will be featured in an upcoming TV show taking Canadian adventurers across the country.
Chris Cederdstrand is one of 24 competitors in the upcoming CBC show Canada's Ultimate Challenge.
The reality competition turns Canada into an obstacle course, taking competitors to various Canadian landmarks for gruelling physical challenges.
Cederstrand is a pretty accomplished athlete, having played competitive sledge hockey for several years before becoming a coach and serving as a firefighter for a time.
"Training has been a big part of my life for a long period of time. I was coaching the provincial sledge hockey team here in Alberta for the last three/four years and I've taken a step back from that. Then we have an adaptive hockey school going up at WinSport. I don't slow down when it comes to the athletic side of stuff," says Cederstrand.
He had some help along the way, with former Olympic runner Donovan Bailey coaching Cederstrand's team.
"To have Donavan was a really remarkable thing. Being my age, I grew up watching him set that record. It's not too often you get to meet one of these G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) athletes. To become really good friends with Donavan has been such a crazy experience. It's not too often you get to hang out with the world's fastest man."
Cederstrand is an above-the-knee amputee, something that sets him apart from every other competitor on the show.
"I was the only adaptive athlete on the show, it was a very unique experience that way. Having the history I have with sports, hockey, and firefighting, I've never really viewed myself as someone with a disability per se. To go on the show and really have to compete against able-bodied athletes, people from all walks of life who have done some pretty amazing things from a sports aspect, to be an adaptive athlete and have to compete with them was a very big challenge. Something I'm hoping people are able to see is that there aren't limitations on things. Really, the only limitations you have are the ones you put on yourself," says Cederstrand.
With the 24 competitors being split into six teams, it gave them a chance to play into each team member's strengths, Cederstrand included.
"We have solo, tandem, and team challenges, so you're trying to find the best thing that fits each challenge. I'm a big, strong guy, if you ask me to lift something heavy up I've got zero issues with that. Being an amputee, I'm obviously not the fastest guy out there. Having that team dynamic and having to choose people for the challenges, it came down to a lot of strategy that way."
The competition took them across several provinces, with locations including the Athabasca River in Hinton, Alberta, the Myra Canyon in Kelowna, BC, and the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, Quebec.
A highlight for Cederstrand was the Carcross Desert.
"It was my first time ever up in the Yukon. It was a beautiful, beautiful landscape up there. Not having been there and seeing this old town that was reliant on the train coming through, that was one of the cooler highlights in terms of geographical locations we visited."
Canada's Ultimate Challenge premieres on Feb. 16 at 8:00 p.m. and can be viewed on CBC Gem.