By Lars Dalseide | October 1 2012 17:41

National Police Shooting competitor takes on the Amazing Race

Amazing Race contestant Art Velez walks the range during NRA's 2012 National Police Shooting Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Amazing Race contestant Art Velez at NRA's 2012 National Police Shooting Championship in Albuquerque

Albuquerque, New Mexico - Sunday night marked the opening night for the 21st season of Amazing Race on CBS — a globe trekking competition where contestants take on challenges and obstacles related to the locale's culture and community. At the end of every episode (well, almost every episode), the last team to complete that leg of the race is eliminated.

In Season 20, teams took twenty-four days to travel to twenty-two cities in ten countries on five different continents. Why mention that? Because we had a few of the NRA faithful take on the Amazing Race Challenge.

Specifically we're talking about U.S. Border Patrol Agent Art Velez. Art partnered up with the fellow Border Patrol Agent J.J. Carrell to take on the race. Seems their Border Patrol training paid off as they came in second overall by the narrowest of margins. During the 2012 National Police Shooting Championships in Albuquerque, we sat down with Art to hear about the experience.

"J.J. and I we work in this little 5x10 trailer," Velez started. "One day he said that we should put in for the Amazing Race. I said 'Dude, you are crazy.'"

Despite the initial inclination against the adventure, Art ultimately acquiesced. They downloaded the application, recorded the requisite three minute video and sent everything off to central casting. Then the calls started.

"The phone rang and they started asking questions," said Velez. "When could we come in for casting, when could we come in for another casting and another casting. Before you know it they said, 'Hey you guys are on the show.'"

How to tell Command that you're going on the Amazing Race

Amazing Race contestant Art Velez fires during the NRA's 2012 National Police Shooting Championship's team matches
Amazing Race contestant Art Velez fires during the NRA's 2012 National Police Shooting Championship's team matches
Caught by surprise with their good luck, the two were notified less then two weeks before the Amazing Race kicked off. Now the biggest concern would be permission. After all, it's not as if they can just take off whenever they please.

"We originally told our Chief that it might be a possibility. Nobody thought it would get that far so we decided to deal with it if we had to.

"It was one of those deals where we had to sign confidentiality agreements for CBS saying that we wouldn't let anyone know. So once we found out that we were going to be on the show, we started jumping through the proverbial hoops. Legal, Counsel and everyone in Command. That was a mad scramble.

"We were fortunate enough that everyone thought it was a good idea for us to go."


We'll have more about Art's time on the Amazing Race over the next few weeks. Check back next Monday for another installment.

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