When Wendy Swain’s phone rang last August, the Maple Ridge teacher says she felt like she had just won the lottery.
At the other end of the line was a television producer who informed her that she had been selected from more than 45,000 applicants to appear on the TVTropolis hit game show Wipeout Canada.
That meant an all expenses-paid trip to Argentina for one week, and the chance to win $50,000.
For Swain, the news couldn’t have come at a better time. It was just weeks since her 30th birthday, and she had recently been laid off as a school teacher in Mission.
Swain submitted a wacky audition reel via YouTube which featured her rollerblading down Granville Street in a super hero costume and jumping in the frigid waters of English Bay to prove her craziness to the show’s producers.
That earned her an in-person audition with 899 others at the River Rock Casino in Richmond last year.
Swain flew down to Argentina in October to film her episode, where she wore a shirt signed by her former students back home.
The notoriously difficult obstacle course sent Swain home with a few souvenirs.
“I was covered in bruises, but it was totally worth it,” she says.
Swain will be appearing in this Sunday’s episode of Wipeout Canada, where she will be featured as one of the show’s “everyday heroes,” along with police officers, firefighters and members of the military.
“It was a great feeling to recognized for what I do as a teacher,” she says.
“It can be such a challenging career.”
• Swain appears on Wipeout Canada this Sunday, May 29 at 8 p.m. on TVTropolis.