NBC’s Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge debuted this week, with six teams vying for one slot in the obstacle-racing competition’s championship round and a chance to win $250,000. Teams were comprised of two men and two women and a team captain selected from elite Spartan racers.
Of the assembled teams, none embodied America’s melting-pot vision like the appropriately-named American Dream Team. The Berkeley-based squad included admissions counselor Carmen Crum who grew up in Italy, former goat farmer Ronald “The Ram” Quintero from Honduras, soccer coach Horacio Pastor from Venezuela, and firefighter Gillian Gallego whose family is from the Philippines. The team was captained by 22-year-old Isaiah Vidal, the seventh-ranked Spartan racer in the world.
In the first round, American Dream Team stayed calm after falling behind early, then dispatched with teams from Boston and New York with a strong finish.
In the final round, ADT appeared to be out of contention after arriving at the final obstacle, the Slip Wall, almost a full minute behind Law and Order. When the latter team’s human ladder collapsed, ADT clawed, clung, clambered and climbed their way to a remarkable come-from-behind victory.