May 22, 2011 12:47 AM by John Romero
This weekend Canon City celebrates its annual Raft Rodeo. Teams of rafters take to the rapids, pulling out all the stops to amaze the crowd and take the title.
But this year a celebrity with a knack for extreme challenges is in the mix. Travel Channel's Bert Kreischer of Bert the Conqueror decided to give the rodeo a try. When we asked why Kreischer chose the rodeo he only had one answer, "Are you kidding me? I came to win! That's what I'm about!" he says.
Kreischer says when the crew heard about the rodeo it was a no-brainer to head to Canon City for the thrill and for the community who comes out year after year. "Very few places in the world have stadium seating for a rafting competition." he explains, "Everyone's out here. This place is filled with people that just want to watch people wipe out!" he says with his familiar laugh that's made his show one of Travel Channel's most popular.
Though Kreischer is used to the extreme, he says this challenge still leaves him a little weary. "Fear factor is a 10 just because you're going against Mother Nature." he says, "Mother Nature does not phone it in!" His biggest fear? The cold Colorado rapids! "I'm looking forward to being in the boat and doing it. But I'm not looking forward to getting in the water. The water is 40 degrees and despite how much fat I carry I'll still feel it!" he laughs.
Even so, Kreischer says the thrill and feeling of accomplishment he gets every time makes the butterflies all worth it. "I think I'm like an average guy and I have a bunch of average buckets of fears that everyone else does." he explains, "It's kind of nice to go through and spend a year conquering them and feeling a little stronger about yourself and building a little inner fortitude."