'Pure luck' boosts winners of AAFES' version of 'The Amazing Race'
June 4, 2005
AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — It wasn’t exactly a victory of Olympic proportions.
But Kat Genetti and Nicole Adelman became mini celebrities at Aviano when they won the Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s version of “The Amazing Race.”
“Luck,” was Adelman’s answer for the two friends’ winning formula.
“Pure luck,” Genetti said in agreement.
Nimble fingers, quick thinking and forgiving stomachs didn’t hurt either.
But the key was their ability to make a bus connection.
Because while contestants of the popular television series take all sorts of transportation to travel the world during the course of a TV season, the five teams competing at Aviano had a more daunting means of getting around: the base shuttle bus system.
And to complicate matters, the minimum number of buses was operating Friday because most of the base’s local nationals were on vacation.
“It was because of the bus,” said Kelly Olivares, an active-duty airman in the 31st Civil Engineer Squadron. She and husband, Jesus, who also serves in the squadron, came in second. “We came up right behind it, but it wouldn’t wait for us.”
Of course, if the couple had been just a bit quicker putting together their jigsaw puzzle, that wouldn’t have happened. Adelman and Genetti had finished their puzzle and made the bus connection with a few minutes to spare. The rest of the teams had to wait until the next bus back to the flight line came along.
That meant that Adelman and Genetti, both spouses of active-duty airmen at Aviano, had more than enough time to connect with a few balls from the batting cage, eat 10 tacos and find a message hidden under the table at the food court.
Their winnings, according to AAFES store manager Michael Brennan, included a pair of televisions, DVD players, PlayStation 2 games and other prizes. It was about $1,000 in merchandise each, he said, all donated by corporate partners.
Adelman said she has watched the television show a few times, while Genetti said, “Actually, I’ve never seen the TV show.”
Brennan called the event a success and said the Aviano exchange would probably host the game again in the fall.