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The Untold Truth Of Fred Lewis From Gold Rush: Winter's Fortune

Discovery's "Gold Rush" follows a few different crews as they set forth into uncharted territory to hunt for riches. Some end up more prosperous than others, but it makes for thrilling television as viewers wait to see how much each team goes home with. Just like Parker Schnabel and Rick Ness have found buried treasure, Discovery struck gold when the network decided to greenlight that first reality series. 

"Gold Rush" has remained one of the channel's defining programs over the last decade, and while the original series has gone strong since its debut in 2010, it's spun off into various other series for fans to enjoy. "Gold Rush: South America" and "Gold Rush: Parker's Trail" are just some of the other titles to materialize over the years, and that trend isn't slowing down any time soon with "Gold Rush: Winter's Fortune," which premiered on July 30, 2021. 

It may be a new premise in a different locale, but there are plenty of familiar faces, including Fred Lewis, who has been a mainstay of "Gold Rush" for a while. You may think you know the bearded wonder from his time on the series, but here are some fun facts about Fred Lewis you may not have heard before. 

Fred Lewis is a veteran

Veterans are a common sight on the dig sites. Throughout the history of "Gold Rush" and its various spin-offs, numerous veterans have been employed by Parker Schnabel and other heads of varying units. "Gold Rush" veterans include people from the Army to the Marines, and some of the individuals you may not have realized have served the United States include KC Morgan, Kyle Pletzke, John Stanz, and Fred Lewis. 

Lewis formerly worked as a Green Beret. He was also a Special Forces Medic, bringing his training to Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, and Africa. That's how Lewis became introduced to the Discovery series. He worked as a medic while in Papua New Guinea for the spin-off show "Gold Rush: Parker's Trail." Through his adventures with that crew, he realized he had a knack for this mining thing, and for Season 11 of the main series, he led his own team.

It was his first time being the man in charge, and as he explained to Military.com, it was an ordeal: "We've gotten no help from anybody outside of the veteran community on this entire project. It's pretty fantastic to look back and see how much we've pulled off with our resources." It's good to see Fred Lewis pursuing his passions and helping other veterans find work, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He's worked in education

Mining wasn't the first career path Fred Lewis pursued after exiting the military. He jumped around to various school jobs upon leaving the service. As he went on to tell Military.com, "I studied and got a master's in education and a bachelor's in science of web design. I never really found my path. I was a high school biology teacher, middle school history teacher, high school rec wrestling coach, volleyball coach, bouncing around trying to find something."

The reason Lewis got into the gold mining business in the first place was that he lost his previous job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (The Wrap). There wasn't anything for him to do back home, so he set out to search for that sweet, precious treasure underneath the surface of the earth with Schnabel and the rest of the team. Hopefully, we continue seeing Fred Lewis on our television screens for a long time to come.

Fred Lewis has competed on American Ninja Warrior

It's clear from his time on "Gold Rush" that Fred Lewis is a guy who likes to stay in shape. As a veteran, he naturally had to care for his body to remain on alert, and he's kept up his physical regimen even after getting out of the service. He continues exercising, which shouldn't come as a surprise seeing how he's worked for various high school teams, and he's even gone so far as to compete on "American Ninja Warrior," as reported by Tri-City Herald

He made it onto the show in 2018 and mentioned how he also does mud runs and Spartan races to get his heart pumping. When it came to training for his pre-"Gold Rush" television appearance, he made the bold claim, "This is more stressful than anything I have done in combat. It's the hardest thing I have ever done in my life." That's a big statement coming from a veteran, but if you've seen the obstacles that show up on the show, you may have a good idea what he's talking about.

He was a fan of Gold Rush before joining the crew

It has to be a surreal experience to be a fan of a show and later watch yourself on said series. No doubt there are plenty of starry-eyed singers who dreamed of appearing on "American Idol" and "The Voice" and eventually saw their dreams come true by receiving the opportunity to compete. In that same vein, that's what happened with Fred Lewis. 

Shortly after joining "Parker's Trail," the "Gold Rush" team released a video on Facebook introducing Lewis to the world. He talks about his experience in the military, and he also lets us in on the following tidbit, "I feel like, as a viewer of last season, watching it from home, I was really shocked at how they made it out alive. I think, Parker and Sam [Brown], I would kind of compare to daycare? They seem to kind of go and do things without thinking about them and kind of hop around and do whatever they want, and that's kind of why they get into a lot of trouble." He may have started as the show's medic, but he's proven himself more than adept at getting down into the mining equipment, as evidenced in Discovery's "Gold Rush: Winter's Fortune."