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Mother, daughter reunited for 'Race'
Women tackle challenge on reality TV show
Amazing Race
Andie DeKroon, left, and her biological daughter, Jenna Sykes, will compete in “The Amazing Race” this season on CBS. - photo by For the Forsyth County News
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Season 17 of “The Amazing Race” premieres at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 26 on CBS.

This fall, millions of Americans will watch a Forsyth County mother journey across the globe in pursuit of $1 million and a relationship with the daughter she gave up for adoption more than two decades earlier.

The 17th season of “The Amazing Race” will begin Sept. 26 on CBS. Among the contestants will be Forsyth County stay-at-home mom Andie DeKroon and her biological daughter, University of Georgia student Jenna Sykes.

Though the two only recently reconnected, they will work as a team, competing against 10 other duos in physical and mental challenges as they visit places from Bangladesh to the Arctic Circle.

Since DeKroon gave up Jenna for adoption, she has had 10 other children, ranging in age from 18 months to 18 years.

In a question-answer session with CBS, DeKroon said she decided to take her birth daughter on the race to “get to know this person I brought into the world.”

“I feel the opportunity of being together 24/7 for a while on the race would give us the chance to know each other in a deeper way than we would if we met under normal circumstances,” she said.

In her CBS interview, Sykes, 21, credited her adoptive parents as her role models, saying she’d be “lucky to be half the person and half the parent that each of them are.”

But she also is excited to “get to know my birth mother through this incredible opportunity.”

“It is my hope that we will be able to spend a lot of time together and become friends,” she said.

Since the two will compete against a father-son team, best friends and dating couples, the biggest challenge could be learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

“Since we just met, it will be harder for us to race without knowing one another as well as the other teams do,” Sykes said in the interview.

“We have to trust each other way more and have faith in ourselves.”