This Week in Bachelor Nation History: Contestants from All Around the World Gather for 'Winter Games'
This week marks three years since “The Bachelor Winter Games” premiered. The action-packed spin-off gathered “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” alums from all around the globe to participate in sporting events inspired by the Winter Olympic Games.
The four-part series — hosted by Chris Harrison and ESPN’s Hannah Storm — took place in snowy Vermont and reunited familiar faces from the U.S. franchise, including such beloved stars as Ashley Iaconetti, Dean Unglert, Lesley Murphy, Luke Pell, Clare Crawley, and Ben Higgins.
The show also introduced American audiences to standout contestants from international iterations of the Bachelor franchise, including Kevin Wendt (“The Bachelorette Canada”), Lily McManus (“The Bachelor New Zealand”), Courtney Dober (“The Bachelorette Australia”), Yuki Kimura (“The Bachelor Japan”), and Benoît Beauséjour-Savard (“The Bachelorette Canada”), among others.
The singles went head-to-head in winter-themed challenges centered on the toughest sport of all — love. The show kept Bachelor Nation entertained with a thrilling mix of tears, drama, romance, and laughter. “Winter Games” even spawned several relationships among its 25 cast members.
The final competition of the Olympics-themed challenges was couples ice dancing, with Ashley and her then-beau Kevin being crowned the winners of “Winter Games.” Of course, Ashley is now married to Jared Haibon after meeting and falling in love across multiple seasons of “Bachelor in Paradise.” Meanwhile, Kevin is engaged to Astrid Loch, whom he met on Season 5 of “Paradise.”
“Winter Games” memorably delivered a surprise engagement between Clare and Benoît, even if the majority of their relationship developed off-camera. The pair revealed during the reunion taping that Benoît reached out to Clare after she left the show and, after two months of secretly dating, Benoît got down on one knee to propose to Clare — who excitedly said, “Yes!”
Benoît and Clare eventually called it quits in April 2018. Clare went on to lead the first portion of “The Bachelorette” Season 16 in the fall of 2020. Though Clare accepted a proposal from Dale Moss two weeks into her run leading the franchise, the couple split in January.
Weeks before “Winter Games” debuted, host and producer Chris teased that the special could one day become an annual event.
“The whole show overall, I could not have been happier the way it turned out,” he told press during a conference call in February 2018. “I’ve seen the first couple of episodes. It may be some of the best television we’ve ever produced — which scares me because now, instead of a one-off, we might be doing this every winter now.”
Check out highlights from “The Bachelor Winter Games” below.