UPDATE Richfield Woman, Reality Show Winner, Plans to Use Cash Prize to Help Others | News


Richfield resident Lia Mort established herself as the toughest contender on CBS’s reality show “Tough as Nails” in Wednesday’s series finale.

“I was hoping for an adventure. I love competition, but I still find it hard to believe I won,” said the 54-year-old.

An Army Chief Warrant Officer, Mort, served in the Marines, worked as a professional firefighter and in construction. She was chosen by the producers to be one of 12 contestants in her third season and was billed as a “jack of all trades”.

Death proved that moniker over about 20 timed challenges over 10 episodes, which included searching through a bunch of 600 tires to find four with the same number, riding them on wheels, and pressurizing them.

Another challenge involved having each participant self-zoom 11 stories to replace a light bulb.

While she approached everyone with a positive attitude, the water challenge was the most difficult. “I don’t know why,” Mort said. “I’m a pretty decent swimmer. I’ve done triathlons.”

The latest challenge, which aired Wednesday night, had contestants running through obstacles, smashing a wall with a sledgehammer, stacking 30 pallets, untying and dragging a dummy down a slope, removing four tires and attaching them to a container to make stairs, cut three pieces of metal with a grinder to take six steps, drive two stakes with a sledgehammer and raise a rope ladder to reach a truck.

Mort finished first, winning the championship as well as $ 200,000 and a Ford truck.

“It was like angels were carrying me,” she said of the feeling she got from the last challenge. “I learned that I have more patience and that I am calmer than I expected. I was in the zone.”

“Lia proved the old adage, you can never judge a book by its cover,” said Phil Keoghan, host and co-creator of the show. all the trades went unnoticed from the start and continued to master all the work that we entrusted to it. Her life skills, intelligence, and physical strength were evident from the first challenge, which she won, to the final where she achieved victory after a grueling 10-episode battle against 11 other hardened individuals. “

Mort and her husband John watched each episode together at home. “I missed everyone. The whole team, the team and the competitors,” she said.

She has kept in touch with many of the people she met while filming the reality show earlier this year and plans to start a podcast, More Than Tough, interviewing former contestants and crew members. the show with fellow contestant, Kalimba Edwards, 43, a captain fire from Nebraska, in January.

Mort and her husband plan to use some of the earnings to pay their taxes and their mortgage, but they will donate much of the rest. She is giving each of the show’s 11 contestants $ 5,000 to donate to the charity of their choice and will support a friend who has established an orphanage in Uganda called Victorious Children’s Ministry.

“John and I feel blessed, and if you are blessed, you have to uplift others,” she said.

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