The last season of The Amazing Race
featured the show's first deaf player
, who made it all the way to the final leg. Among this season's teams
will be one with a contestant who has Asperger's syndrome. Zev Glassenberg
, 26, will journey through eight countries in 21 days for a chance at $1 million -- a challenge Glassenberg is looking forward to.
"It's one of my favorite shows and I thought it would be a really, really cool experience," he tells DisabilityScoop.com
. "It's basically a scavenger hunt around the world and I like to do scavenger hunts, so why not do one around the world?"
His partner will be his longtime friend Justin Kanew
, 30, who he says will be there to help him with the aspects of travel that might prove most trying for him. Aspergers, an autism-spectrum disorder, is a condition in which have extreme difficulties understanding or participating in social interactions.
"He's one of my very, very good friends," Glassenberg said. "We met at a sports camp in Massachusetts in 2003 where we taught football together. We're pretty much alike. He's a little bit older than I am but we both have the same common interests -- sports and hanging out and just having a good time."
Glassenberg says he'd wanted to apply for the show for the last seven seasons and does not think having Asperger's syndrome should hurt his chances at the $1 million prize. "I've had Asperger's since I was 11. It really doesn't mean much to my life," he says. "It's just something I do and I guess I live with it. I don't really spend too much of my life on that -- it's just something that's there."
Although he admits the social aspects of traveling the world on a reality show competition are "little overwhelming," the same could be said for any of the teams.
"I thought we had as good a shot as anybody to win the race," Glassenberg says. "I just wanted to go and be myself and do my thing." The Amazing Race
premieres Sept. 27 on CBS. --Michael Y. Park