The longtime host of “The Challenge,” TJ Lavin, is beloved by fans and cast members alike for his enthusiasm for competition and honest criticism and compliments about the performances of the show’s stars. TJ, who is also a BMX rider, is no stranger to adrenaline-fueled challenges and competition, and even spent nine days in a medically induced coma in 2010 after a scary crash during a BMX event.
While he recovered from the injury and continued his hosting duties on “The Challenge” following the crash, recently, the reality TV host opened up about a near-death experience he suffered just a few months afterward while filming “The Challenge” in Costa Rica.
In an appearance on “MTV’s Official Challenge Podcast” with co-hosts Aneesa Ferreira and Tori Deal shortly after the “Double Agents” final aired, TJ said he “almost drowned” when he was in Costa Rica, which is where filming for “Rivals” took place.
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TJ Shared the Whole Story & Said He Nearly Drowned in Costa Rica
TJ told the co-hosts that he nearly drowned in Costa Rica right after his accident when he went there to film “The Challenge: Rivals.” He said, “when I was just coming back, my friend Greg was my driver at the time because I couldn’t even drive yet, I could barely see.” He said the two went to the beach and his friend said he wanted to go surfing:
So he goes surfing and I just go for a swim. And there’s a mad undertow that I had no idea. And then all of a sudden it just took me out to the middle of the ocean and I was like miles out, not miles but like far, far, probably like 200 yards away from the shore. And I couldn’t get back in cause every time I’d swim back it just kept pushing me back.
He said he wasn’t able to return so he treated water until his friend got back to the beach and tried to find TJ. “All of a sudden he looks out there and sees this little head just floating out there,” TJ said, “So he came and got me with the surfboard and we rode the surfboard into the rocks… then we were all cut up and laughing. And I was like, ‘dude that was a close call.’ And he was like, ‘holy s***.'” He joked that he “wasn’t thinking straight” because he had a brain injury.
During the Same Interview, TJ Revealed He Will Sometimes Run the Final Challenge Ahead of Time
TJ also spoke about the finals on “The Challenge” and that he enjoys getting involved and running some of the finals before the rest of the competitors or trying some of the daily challenges. He said he ran the entire final for the “All Stars” season that just dropped on Paramount Plus and has done segments of other finals.
He gave another example from “War of the Worlds,” and said, “in Namibia I ran up the sand mountain and like I was racing whoever was racing… They’re like, ‘TJ you gotta get up there’, I was like ‘alright cool.’ And I ran up that thing and by the time I got there I was out of breath dying and everybody just met me there it was perfect. It was crazy.”