Amazing Race father-son duo Dave and Connor O’Leary had to make the tough decision to quit the show on Sunday night’s episode, and it did not come easy for the competitive pair. Dave and Connor are both cancer survivors and were determined to make it to the end and win yet another battle – however, when Dave tore his Achilles tendon in an earlier leg of the race their fates were taken out of their hands in put in those of a doctor.
Dave and Connor still managed to stay at the front of the pack while Dave endured his injury, but at the advice of a doctor, the O’Learys decided that it was in Dave’s best interest to make it home and have surgery before he damaged his leg and tendons beyond repair. “We were leaving Bali, and I got an email from an orthopedic surgeon who took tests in Tahiti,” says Dave. “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.”
“I came home and had surgery on my Achilles and started rehab. It's been a process. It was an ugly surgery.” Dave is in much better health now, and he says that his recovery has gone well overall. “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.”
Dave’s son, Connor, was right by his side the whole way and was very supportive of his father throughout the competition. “We have a pretty close bond,” says Connor, but their decision to leave the game was still heartbreaking to the pair.
When asked whether or not they would return to the show if they had a chance, both Dave and Connor answered with a resounding YES. “Oh, in a heartbeat,” said Connor, “I wish we could be on the next season,” agreed Dave.