When The Amazing Race 18‘s returning teams were officially announced, the press release identified the male half of the team known as Kent Cothron and Vyxsin Fiala as “Kent Kaliber,” and there was no explanation, so I wondered if he’d changed his name.
But he was identified on-screen as Kent during the premiere, and that led to some speculation; The Onion’s AV Club suggested that “[m]aybe too many people were mispronouncing it in a non-family-friendly way.”
But some research uncovered the reason why he changed his name from Kynt Cothron to Kent Kaliber, which is apparently his birth name, and it has to do with the death of his father last year. (The Huntsville Times reports that the cause of death was a heart attack.)
The Lousiville Courier-Journal reports that he “changed the ‘y’ to ‘e’ after his father died last year.” Several message board discussions say he did so specifically to honor his dad by returning to his birth name. He was actually using “Kent Cothron” prior to his first appearance on the race, as these 2007 newspaper articles show.
While it doesn’t mention his name change, Kent says in his CBS bio that “I lost my dad very suddenly and unexpectedly this year. I want to run the Race as a tribute to him. A victory in this race will give my family some much needed good news.”