BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA–One of the Canadian contestants taking part In Fruday’s taping of Wipeout Canada had to be taken to hospital after suffering a non-life threatening injury. Dennis Thomas, a full blood First Nations native Canadian from North Vancouver, injured a leg while attempting a swinging jump during the initial qualifying round of the reality series. Thomas, who took part last February as a native dancer in the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, swung over a pool of water and was attempting to land through a stack of large inner tubes when he booted the dismount, inuring his right leg. UPDATE: The network says Thomas is doing fine and has already been flown back home to Canada (business class!). He does face further reconstructive surgery to repair tendons in his knee and leg. So far, he’s the only Wipeout contestant ever to sustain a serious knee injury on the three rings section of the obstacle course.
The young man, one of over 44,000 Canadians who applied to be selected to compete on the stunt series, came up out of the water complaining he had broken his leg. One of the local divers on hand for just such an emergency waded into the meter-deep pool and carried Thomas, in obvious distress, onto dry land. He was then quickly surrounded by one of two ambulance crews on standby.
Thomas was immediately loaded into an ambulance and taken to a local hospital. Initial reports suggest he may have dislocated his left kneecap.
Thomas had the fastest time before booting this dismount
Less than an hour before the mishap, Thomas proudly showed off his ceremonial native headgear—an actual wolf pelt–to a group of Canadian reporters who happened to be on the set. Each of the players on Wipeout Canada are given nicknames depending on their region or occupation. Thomas had been branded “Wolfie” (although that may be changed to “Snappy” by air time).
Thomas was one of 20 Canadians divided into “East” and West” teams representing every Canadian province except Quebec. All said the opening event was much tougher than it looks on television. Wipeout contestants regularly land face first in the mud after attempting to leap over giant red balls or avoid a wall full of thrusting boxing gloves.
Thomas being hustled into an ambulance
Thomas’ injury so early in the competition means he probably won’t appear on the show at all according to one official. Players are competing for an ultimate grand prize of $50,000.
Wipeout Canada is produced by Lone Eagle Entertainment in association with Endemol and is one of 20 international versions of the obstacle course game show produced on the large outdoor set near Buenos Aires. The series is set to premiere next spring on TVTropolis.