It was hard to not fall in love with this season's winners of The Amazing Race Canada, boyfriends Sam and Paul. As two highly competitive, smart, and determined individuals, they come together to form an unbeatable team. We were thrilled to sit down with the champions to learn a little more about their story, why they're so damn proud to be Canadian and to capture the beautiful chemistry between the two Toronto natives.
Tell us about yourself and the start of your relationship.
Paul - "I work at LinkedIn as an Account Manager and absolutely love it. As shown on the show, Sam got accepted into medical school at McMaster, where he just started."
Sam: "We “met” for the first time on a dating app actually. Very 21st century of us, eh? Even though we met online, we knew pretty early on that we had something special with one another, and our connection just grew from there. It didn't start without an uphill battle though."
You mention struggle at the beginning, what was that like?
Sam: "We definitely struggled at the beginning of our relationship, mostly because Paul wasn’t fully out. It was hard for both of us because we wanted to spend time together and share our relationship with family + friends, but we were limited because everything was one big secret. We worked on it for a while, and supported one another throughout, and look at us now – Amazing Race Canada champs, and more in love than ever."
"We wanted to send a message to anyone out there struggling to be themselves that it gets better and that you can truly do and be whatever you set your mind to. When it was toughest for us, there were days where we never thought it would get better, and that we would always have to hide our relationship."
What did you hope to accomplish by going onto the Amazing Race?
Paul: "We wanted to send a message to anyone out there struggling to be themselves that it gets better and that you can truly do and be whatever you set your mind to. When it was toughest for us, there were days where we never thought it would get better, and that we would always have to hide our relationship. Despite those thoughts, we continued to support one another and now we’re happier than ever. We want that message to resonate with those struggling across the country – that no matter what you’re going through just be true to yourself and it will get better."
"You're not alone."
What would you say to someone who is struggling to be themselves?
Sam: "You're not alone. No matter how isolating it may feel right now, there are people out there who are going or have gone through the same thing as you, and they are super happy now. You will always be able to find where you fit in. Stay strong, and don’t give up."
"Being Canadian means the freedom to be who you are and love whomever you love, no matter what that looks like."
Paul, you posted an Instagram a while back that mentioned how being on the Amazing Race and reaffirming your citizenship was one of the most incredible moments of your life. What does being Canadian mean to you?
Paul: "We are so lucky to live in Canada. Being Canadian means the freedom to be who you are and love whomever you love, no matter what that looks like. Sam and I had the incredible opportunity to travel around the country and meet the most amazing people, and not once did anyone question our love or our relationship. We wouldn’t want to live anywhere else."
What does integrity mean to you both?
Both Sam + Paul: Integrity means staying true to who you are, and being honest about what you need. For us, that meant being honest about our sexuality and accepting ourselves. No matter what you’re struggling with, honesty is what will always lead to being the happiest and most fulfilled you can be.
How do you exemplify integrity in your everyday life?
Sam: "We exemplify integrity every day by just being proud of who we are and what we have together. If that can impact even one person, and get them to think “That could be me", then we'll be happy. "
What was your favourite place on the Amazing Race Canada?
Sam: "Our favourite place was definitely Newfoundland. We had never been there before and the people were so kind and generous. It's a must-see for all Canadians and Visitors."
Where's the first destination from your winnings?
Paul: We’re so excited to take the trips that we won on the race – but we’ll likely be taking them over the next few years. The first trip will be to Mexico – we just surprised both of our families with a trip over the Holidays! Our families have been there for us through thick-and-thin and we’re so happy to be able to give back to them. Our next stop will likely be Hawaii! The beach, hiking, and good food is calling our names.
Although the Amazing Race Canada has come to an end, #SamandPaul are not slowing down. Living in two different cities, Paul is back working with companies across Canada to elevate their brand on LinkedIn and Sam is putting those problem-solving skills to work at Medical School where he plans to focus on Women and Children's Health.
When asked if there is any Reality TV in their future, the answer was (sadly) no. That is unless The Amazing Race Canada calls them back for an All-Star Season. Paul left our interview with the hopeful quote, "If so, our backpacks are already packed and we're coming back with another win!"
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