Winters native has recurring role on CBS reality competition series

A superstar athlete with ties to Winters has been selected for a recurring role on a new athletic competition series airing on national television.
The cast of "Million Dollar Mile," a new reality competition airing on CBS. Winters native Rebecca Hammond is among 10 "defender" athletes with recurring roles on the show. Photo: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc./Courtesy photo
The cast of “Million Dollar Mile,” a new reality competition airing on CBS. Winters native Rebecca Hammond is among 10 “defender” athletes with recurring roles on the show. Photo: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc./Courtesy photo

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Rebecca Hammond is one of 10 elite athletes picked for a new CBS reality program called “Million Dollar Mile.” Created by professional basketball player LeBron James and hosted by former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, Hammond and nine other “defenders” face off against contestants who are vying for a $1 million prize. Those contestants must complete a series of challenging obstacle courses in order to win the prize money. Hammond’s role is to prevent those contestants from reaching the end by trying to thwart them during the competition. [caption id="attachment_771362" align="alignright" width="347"]Winters native Rebecca Hammond is one of 10 elite athletes appearing on the CBS program "Million Dollar Mile." Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS/Courtesy image Winters native Rebecca Hammond is one of 10 elite athletes appearing on the CBS program “Million Dollar Mile.” Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS/Courtesy image[/caption] “The defenders are hired muscle to try to prevent them from reaching that $1 million mark,” Hammond told the Express in a phone interview on Friday. “They’re given a two-minute head start and if we catch them, they’re out.” Hammond’s athletic career started in Winters where she attended John Clayton Kindergarden and Waggoner Elementary School before continuing her primary education in Davis. It was in Winters that she played soccer for the local American Youth Soccer Organization league and in Davis where she started her track-and-field career at Davis High School. Hammond continued competing in track-and-field through college until she became chronically injured. She enrolled at Harvard Med School, but said she still wanted to be active. “So I did rock climbing and cross fit, and then did obstacle racing in 2018 and loved it,” Hammond said. “It was like running but more fun.” She entered into the Spartan North American Championships where she earned second place. She moved on to the Spartan World Championships at the Olympic Village in Tahoe where she again earned second place. It was during a backstage interview with ESPN when Hammond said she was approached by a producer working on the CBS show. “Ian Adamson approached me and asked me if I would be interested in being part of the television show,” Hammond said. “When I said yes, he recommended me to his producer friends who then recruited me.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVBtQpWYij4 The show filmed in Los Angeles last November. Contestants who agree to run the mile-long obstacle course are given a two-minute head start from “defender” athletes like Hammond. Those competitors must clear five obstacles plus a final $1 million obstacle to take home the prize money — if Hammond or her peer defenders can’t catch up to them first. Unlike the contestants, Hammond and the other defenders have paid roles with the shows. “There’s no additional incentive for us…they’re just using our own internal competitiveness to get us to do our jobs,” Hammond said. “We’re just kind of paid to be on the show; we’re not paid any more for catching them.” Hammond wasn’t sure how many episodes she will appear in or when they will air, but her role as one of the star defenders means she’ll likely appear several times throughout the series. “Million Dollar Mile” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS station KOVR-TV Channel 13 (Wave channels 13 and 787) and is available on-demand via CBS All Access. A special encore presentation of the series premiere will air this Saturday, March 30 at 8 p.m. on CBS.]]>

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