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Reichen and Chip
finish first in $1-million Race

Reichen and Chip
finish first in $1-million Race

Reichen Lehmkuhl 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.

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