Former Canes player gets 'Amazing' TV gig

ajohnson@newsobserver.comJanuary 7, 2013 

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According to reports from various websites, Bates Battaglia and his brother will appear as contestants on "The Amazing Race."

CHRIS SEWARD — Chris Seward

While other National Hockey League players were waiting for the lockout to end, it seems at least one former Carolina Hurricanes player was having a grand adventure.

Several websites and tweets are reporting that former Canes winger and downtown Raleigh bar owner Bates Battaglia will be a contestant on the next edition of CBS’ “The Amazing Race,” partnered with his brother, Anthony.

Representatives from CBS refused to confirm or deny casting information until the teams are announced “in the near future.” But posts on various sites say Battaglia, 37, was recognized as part of the cast when he was spotted at the airport in Los Angeles.

Also, a brief YouTube clip shows what appears to be the Battaglia brothers running through an airport in Australia. And a reality show fan forum has posted pictures of the two, both carrying backpacks, Bates in a dark baseball cap, chatting with other contestants.

The 22nd edition of the show is scheduled to premiere on CBS Feb. 17.

“The Amazing Race” features teams of two, with varied relationships, racing around the world for a million-dollar prize. Along the way, contestants perform tasks that feature a window into the culture of the country they’re visiting. The tasks can range from eating a local food, performing a traditional dance or executing a grueling bit of labor essential to that nation’s economy.

Battaglia, a Chicago native, shone during the Canes’ 2001-02 Stanley Cup run. Despite being traded from the team, he’s made North Carolina his home. Besides owning Lucky B’s Around the Corner, a self-proclaimed classy dive bar on Tucker Street in Glenwood South, he has a house at Carolina Beach.

“The Amazing Race’s” mix of travel, culture and gamesmanship has earned the show 9 Emmys out of 10 nominations. Bates isn’t the first professional athlete to compete on the race; others include Harlem Globetrotters, former NFL players, snowboarders, and a bull and bronco rider.

Martin: 919-829-4751

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