When it was announced that Arie Luyendyk Jr. would be the next Bachelor — fans everywhere wanted to know more about the star. Mega-fans remember the race car hottie as the “Kissing Bandit” from Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette while viewers newer to the franchise were left wondering: “Who exactly is Arie?” And, while facts about his adult life are interesting, what’s even more interesting are facts about his childhood like where he went to high school and how he got started in racing.
The 36-year-old reality star might call Scottsdale, AZ home now but he wasn’t even born in the United States. He is from The Netherlands and later immigrated to the States at age 3 with his family. He has three siblings: sister Maida and younger twin brothers, Alec and Luca. His family settled in Brookfield, Wisconsin, but later moved to Arizona where he attended Chaparral High School and then transferred to Desert Mountain High School when he was a sophomore. Arie must’ve really liked Arizona — because he stayed there even after school!
When it comes to the Luyendyk family, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. His father — Arie Luyendyk Sr. — was also a racecar driver. In fact, he was a two-time Indy 500 winner which is why most fans assume that’s how Arie got into racing. But, it was actually his grandfather who first let him get behind the wheel of a car at the young age of 14.
“My grandfather put me in a race car for the first time, without my dad knowing,” he admitted to North Valley Magazine. “That’s really when I got the bug and wanted to pursue racing.” He fell in love with it immediately and become entirely devoted to his career (even while still a high school student). “There was no room for partying,” he added. “It would have jeopardized my career. My first car was a Dodge Stealth, which was pretty cool. It looked like the Batmobile — it was black, and I drove the hell out of that thing until it broke down.”
Sounds like Arie had quite the unconventional upbringing, but it clearly worked for him! We can’t wait to see what lucky lady will end up with him. For more on Arie’s season, check out our Bachelor spoilers to see who Arie picks.
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