Originally published on Advocate.com August 22 2003 11:00 PM ET
and Chip Arndt, a gay couple who celebrated their one-year
anniversary during the course of CBS's reality show The
Amazing Race, won the contest's $1-million prize by
being the first team to cross the finish line in Phoenix, it
was revealed in Thursday night's final episode. The duo
competed with 11 other two-person teams in a race around the
world, beginning in Los Angeles and continuing through
Europe, India, Malaysia, Korea, and Australia.
The couple, who live in Los Angeles, were identified
throughout the show's 13 episodes as "married" and were the
eighth and ninth openly gay contestants in The Amazing
Race's four seasons. Previous gay contestants finished
no higher than third. Teams are eliminated one by one on
The Amazing Race until the three last duos
remaining race to the finish.
After winning the race on Thursday's episode, the duo
were shown greeting all the eliminated players, gathered at
the finish line, while they made a voiceover statement about
how their victory would demonstrate that gay people are just
as capable and have the same values and goals as everyone else.
Lehmkuhl, 28, is a pilot, a graduate of the Air Force
Academy, and a former Air Force officer who now runs a
private charter airline called Tribe Airways. Arndt, 36, is
a Yale and Harvard Business School graduate who is now a
financial consultant specializing in funding entertainment projects.
Now that the race has ended, Lehmkuhl has agreed to
appear in a documentary film investigating the military's
"don't ask, don't tell" policy, the Washington, D.C.-based
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network announced Friday. The
film, set to start production this fall, will span the
10-year history of the policy and follow the building
political momentum to overturn it, according to SLDN.
"As a former Air Force officer and graduate of the
U.S. Air Force Academy, Reichen is the ideal personality to
be involved with this important issue and project," said the
film's director, Jonathan Baker.
"The Pentagon is firing three people every day simply
because of their sexual orientation," Lehmkuhl said in
SLDN's press release. "If the same thing were happening in
corporate America, most citizens would be rightfully
outraged. The fact that our nation's largest employer
discriminates against gay Americans under the sanction of
federal law is equally appalling."
An exclusive interview with Reichen and Chip will be
posted Friday evening on Advocate.com.