Gavin Whitson will appear on the new season of Survivor which premieres on Wednesday, Feb. 20. (Photo courtesy of CBS)

By Richard Rourk

It’s official.

Erwin’s own Gavin Whitson is going to be competing on Survivor: Edge of Extinction, which is broadcast on CBS. Whitson is the 23-year-old program director at the Unicoi County Family YMCA.

Due to contract restrictions from appearing on the highly successful show, Whitson was not able to speak to The Erwin Record just yet, but CBS will be giving permission very soon. If you see Whitson, he cannot give out details about the show due to these contract restrictions.

In a press release recently issued by CBS, Whitson explains what inspires him: “My mom and dad. They have been my support system for the past 23 years and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them,” Whitson said. “They have taught me to always show kindness, no matter the situation and they have also taught me that if you truly want something in this life, you will do everything you can to get it, no matter what it takes.”

He is the son of Anthony and Kim Whitson.

In the days since the announcement was made on Thursday, Jan. 31, Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Delp and Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce Executive Assistant Cathy Huskins have been hard at work planning special events for the community to support Whitson.

The Chamber has already set up a viewing party for the Survivor: Edge of Extinction premiere on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Unicoi County High School auditorium. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a pre-show party including games, food trucks and other activities. Whitson will be on hand for photos and autographs and Team Gavin merchandise will be available for sale. The show will be broadcast at 8 p.m.

“We are so excited to have Gavin participate in Survivor and to be a part of that cast,” Delp said.

For more information about the event, check out the Chamber of Commerce’s website or the organization’s Facebook page.

“Stay tuned to see what else we plan for Team Gavin,” Delp said.

Survivor: Edge of Extinction will be on CBS weekly starting Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m.