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Wiping out the competition

West Linn teacher makes second appearance on hit ABC series
by: Elko Weaver Alison Gregorka, a West Linn teacher and Lake Oswego water polo coach, shows true grit as a competitor on ABC's

Tune into ABC this spring and you might catch a glimpse of a familiar face.

Alison Gregorka, a local teacher and water polo coach, recently taped her second appearance on the hit show 'Wipeout.' The episode's air date was not confirmed as of press time.

Gregorka is not a stranger to competition.

In 2008, she won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics as part of the U.S. water polo team.

She now co-teaches physical education at Stafford Primary School in West Linn and substitute teaches in the West Linn-Wilsonville and Lake Oswego school districts. She is also head coach for the Lake Oswego Water Polo Organization.

Gregorka said she and her husband have always been fans of 'Wipeout,' a show in which contestants make their way through four obstacle courses, vying for a $50,000 prize.

She was only half-serious, however, when she decided to complete its online application.

'Six months later, they called me in for an interview, and I'd totally even forgotten that I filled it out,' she said.

Gregorka said she played up her crazy side a bit in the interview and ended up being selected as a participant.

In her first appearance on 'Wipeout,' which aired Jan. 6, 2011, Gregorka ended up making it through the episode's third obstacle course.

She was top finisher on the first time-based course and was the last contestant standing on the second course, earning a $1,000 bonus.

Going into the third course, Gregorka was one of six finalists.

'You run the course, and the first person to finish would make it on,' she said.

The course was the reset, and the winner of the following two heats moved on to the fourth and final obstacle course.

Gregorka said she just barely missed the cut, falling off the course at the last second of the third heat.

'It was really frustrating, but really fun,' she said, calling the overall experience 'hilarious.'

And, when the producers of 'Wipeout' decided to film an episode using previous contestants, Gregorka got a call.

'I said, 'Heck yes, another chance at $50,000,'' said Gregorka, who flew to Los Angeles once again in January to tape the episode.

'The first time around, I was surprised with some of the people who applied and came on,' she said. 'After they ran the course, they were surprised that they had gotten kind of beat up on it.

'I was pretty sure I knew what I was getting into.'

Gregorka said she was sore after filming both episodes and ended up with bumps and bruises but didn't suffer any major injuries.

'I went in expecting to get completely messed up, and somehow I walked away,' she said. 'It was actually less painful than I expected.'

Gregorka said the show hires testers to run the courses before the contestants and scout out potential safety hazards.

'They do a pretty good job with safety; they are aware of that,' she said. 'You don't always know what's going to happen when you put those things together. The testers are more in trouble than we are.'

With this knowledge, she said her second appearance on 'Wipeout' was even more competitive, as everyone knew what he or she was getting into.

'We all had a sense of what was going on; everyone was kind of upbeat and excited about it,' she said. 'Obviously no one would have come back if they didn't have a positive experience the first time.'

For more information about 'Wipeout,' go to http://abc.go.com/shows/wipeout.




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