Olympian Summer Sanders is on Food Network

Fri, Dec 30

Summer Sanders, at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, won gold medals in the 200-meter butterfly and in the 400-meter medley relay. She also won a silver in the 200 individual medley and a bronze in the 400 individual medley.

But, taking part in Food Network's new show -- "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off" -- was "probably more intense than anything I've ever done," Sanders said. "It was all about excitement and chaos at the same time."

Two of Food Network's biggest icons, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, will square off for culinary bragging rights in the competition show, which premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday. In the six-episode series, the chefs will each serve as coaches and mentors to eight celebrities, including Sanders.

Each episode features celebrity contestants battling it out in a fast-paced culinary fight to the finish, with the two bottom-rated contestants from the losing team going head-to-head in a tasting elimination challenge. In the end, the last contestant standing is crowned king or queen of the Celebrity Cook-Off and wins $50,000 for the charity they are playing to support.

"I'm confident in my own kitchen because I know how to make things my kids want to eat," said Sanders, who is married and has two young children. "But I don't know what happens when I have to do it in someone else's kitchen. The expectations are high and there are sharp knives involved!"

The eight celebrity contestants are Sanders, actor Lou Diamond Phillips, singer Aaron Carter, singer and TV personality Joey Fatone, singer Taylor Dayne, rapper Coolio, comedian Cheech Marin and Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella.

Sanders is playing for Right To Play, an international humanitarian organization that uses sports to improve health, develop life skills and foster peace for children and communities in war-torn countries.

So we have about a month's worth of shows to find out whether Sanders wins, but she did give a clue.

"I learned that I'm not the spiciest girl in town. They wished I were a little gutsier. I was constantly told to throw more salt and pepper in my dishes," Sanders said. "But I'm so happy I did the show because now I'm making sure my kids have healthy, colorful meals each day."