Interview: Todd Palin Excited to Bring Iditarod to TV
Sarah Palin isn't the only one in the family who will be in front of the camera on the Sportsman Channel. While the former Alaska governor gets set to host Amazing America with Sarah Palin next month, it's her husband Todd who will be showcasing the beautiful state of Alaska first.
The Iditarod has not had a national television network partner since 2009. Until now, that is. In a groundbreaking agreement with Sportsman Channel, the event organizers will continue to produce the annual sled dog spectacle and provide extensive, in-depth coverage, video and updates through an online platform.
As the Official Network of The Iditarod, Sportsman Channel will exclusively showcase the stories of The Iditarod. In a multi-week stunt entitled Iditarod Unleashed, Sportsman Channel will air 12 hours of programming and specials – including the national television premiere of shows from The Iditarod library – timed around the 2014 event. That's where Todd Palin comes in.
Iditarod Unleashed programming begins March 25 at 7 p.m. ET/PT with a one-hour special hosted by Palin.
Palin is usually a behind-the-scenes guy. The supportive spouse. But he felt compelled to get the word out about the Iditarod. "I'll do whatever I can to promote this great race," Palin told Breitbart Sports. "I know some of the mushers and I know how much work it is to take part in it."
While not a camera hog by any stretch of the imagination, Palin enjoyed filming the special programming. "I don't like to watch myself on TV," said Palin. "But this was a lot of fun."
The Palin family is no stranger to the iconic Iditarod. "They used to have the restart in Wasilla before they moved it to Willow for the more consistent snow," Palin said. "We watched for many years with the kids on snowmachines. It's a big event for all Alaskans."
While Palin is not a musher, he is a champion Iron Dog racer. His success in Alaska's other big race gives him a special appreciation for those who take part in the Iditarod. "Both are the ultimate," Palin said. "In certain stretches, you can actually go faster than a snowmachine when mushing with a dog team. They're so powerful, sometimes you're just hanging on."
The Iditarod is more sophisticated than ever. Palin had a chance to visit sled dog champion Martin Buser's facilities recently and he was blown away by the latest technology. "The use of carbon fiber has made these dog sleds better than ever," Palin said. "The sport has come so far. You think back to the old days and wonder how they did it."
There are personal connections to the Iditarod for Palin as well. Buser teamed up with Palin during the 2008 campaign to help stump for the McCain-Palin ticket. Rick Swenson "King of the Iditarod" ran pro class when Palin started Ion Dog racing in 1993. Meantime, DeeDee Jonrowe serves as an inspiration to all. She beat cancer and got back to mushing. Palin speaks glowingly of John Baker and all he has done for the sport.
"The people involved in this are just like the Iron Dog family," Palin said. "A tight knit group that will help anyone, anyway they can."
Todd and Sarah Palin attended the Iditarod Mushers Banquet in Anchorage this year to show their support for the big race and all those who participate in it.
"I'm just thankful that Sportsman Channel was excited to show the Iditarod and to come up here to share these ultimate races with the rest of the nation," said Palin.
The conclusion of the 2014 Iditarod Sled Dog Race was evidence that this event is like no other. Now, viewers across the country will have an opportunity to reconnect with the race on Sportsman Channel. Plus, viewers will be introduced to the special people who live the lifestyle of Iditarod musher.
Sportsman Channel will look back at Dallas Seavey's record-breaking win, and showcase the incredible stories of this year's historic race, along with stories from previous years.
Iditarod Unleashed will deliver dramatic stories of the dogs, mushers, volunteers, history, wildlife and rough terrain. The Iditarod is known as The Last Great Race on Earth. For Sportsman Channel viewers though the in-depth coverage of the race will be the first of it's kind. "You don't want to miss this," Palin said. "It's just incredible."