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Minn. mom, former Olympic swimmer, competes for $1M on Survivor TV show

Katrina Radke. Submitted photo.1 / 2
"I'm Not Crazy, I'm Confident" - Ben Driebergen, Ashley Nolan, Alan Ball, John "JP" Hilsabeck, Chrissy Hofbeck, and Katrina Radke on SURVIVOR, themed Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers. The Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 35th season premiere at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017 on the CBS Television Network. Robert Voets / CBS Broadcasting Inc.2 / 2

MINNEAPOLIS — A former Olympic swimmer and current sports psychologist and college professor who lives in Excelsior, Minn., will compete on the 35th season of "Survivor," which premieres at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27.

Katrina Radke, a native of Morris, Minn., will battle 17 other castaways for the $1 million prize.

At 14, Radke was the youngest member of the U.S. National Swim Team and she went on to place fifth in the 200-meter butterfly at the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988. Now 46, Radke also runs with her husband, Olympic coach Ross Gerry. In 2012, she published the book "Be Your Best Without the Stress: It's Not About the Medal."

The season splits the contestants into three themed tribes — heroes, healers and hustlers — with Radke among the heroes, a group known for high achievements. Filming ran from April 3 through May 11 on the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji.

On her profile at, Radke predicted she'd find success on the show: "I know how to win. Just like I went from farm-town girl to Olympic swimmer. ... I am tenacious and great at convincing others to support me. They feel good about themselves around me and value me, thus being OK with me being the winner."

The two seasons of "Survivor" that aired last year each featured a Minnesotan: Minneapolis ER doctor Peter Baggenstos (sixth person voted out) and Otsego youth pastor Sunday Burquest (13th person voted out). The website — which is known for its often accurate spoilers and scoops — claims the next season of "Survivor," which airs in 2018, features Laurel Johnson, a 29-year-old healthcare consultant from Minneapolis.

"Survivor" has experienced a renaissance of sorts in recent years, with many fans calling "Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X" — which featured Burquest — one of the finest in the series' long history.

Host Jeff Probst, who it should be noted is also one of the show's executive producers, recently raved about the current season in an interview with Entertainment Weekly: "The last third of the season, you cannot predict what is going to happen. You won't want to miss it. And you're going to love the thrill of the drama ... (It's also got) one of the best finishes. One of my favorite final tribals — new format, a hearty discussion, and who knows? Minds may be changed in the jury."