He’s a family man. Teen Mom OG alum Cory Wharton has revealed why he is stepping away from The Challenge, and it has everything to do with his two daughters. 

“I just remember Ryder blowing on [a dandelion to make a wish] and her saying ‘I hope you don’t go back on [The Challenge].’ And really at that moment, I knew that I needed to take a break from the show,” Cory, 30, shared on Thursday, November 11 via Instagram. “If my little four-year-old is sitting there telling me daddy I don’t want you to go and my other one-year-old could barely even recognize me when I came home from [The Challenge: Double Agents,] that’s a sign.”

Cory Wharton with Ryder
Cory Whalton/Instagram

“I’m very thankful for everything the challenge has given me & all the memories,” the reality TV star, who has competed in nine seasons of the competition show, added. “Right now it’s time for me to create those memories with my family and my daughters.” 

Cory shares his 1-year-old daughter, Mila, with girlfriend Taylor Selfridge, whom he met on Ex On The Beach, and Ryder, 4, with his ex Cheyenne Floyd.

Cheyenne, 28, and Cory are, typically, excellent at coparenting — however, this season of The Challenge put their amicable relationship to the test. 

“This season was rough for us. Normally, I would say, ‘Cory and I were good. Like, we don’t argue,’” Cheyenne revealed to Us Weekly while promoting season 10 of Teen Mom OG in September. “We butted heads a lot.” 

“Ryder is getting older, and I was very, very pregnant when he left,” Cheyenne, who welcomed son Ace, now 5 months old, with her fiancé, Zach Davis, said. “I just wanted to handcuff him to Ryder and then to his house. Like, I did not want him to leave. And I was very — probably a little bit too vocal about that.”

The former couple met during the 2016 season of The Challenge: Rivals III. While Cory has never taken home the big prize, he has made it to the finals four times.

“Normally I’m like, ‘Go have fun. Don’t ever come back.’ You know?” she told the outlet. “But this one, I was like, ‘Nope, you need to stay right here.’ And he’s like, ‘Got to go!’ So we butted heads. Yeah, we definitely butted heads.”

Cheyenne clarified she and Cory are back on “great” terms now following the disagreement if he should participate in The Challenge’s 37th season.  

“Ryder really, really loves her dad, and she loves going over to her dad’s house,” she told Us. “She looks forward to their fun weekends because Cory is super active going to the beach, taking her to the park and she really enjoys that. I like when my kid is happy. So as long as he’s in town, she’s happy. It’s when he does The Challenge where it gets a little rocky.”

However, this doesn’t seem to be the end to Cory’s career on The Challenge 

“I’m very blessed that God has put me in a position where I can say no. I have to say throughout the season I felt extremely supported by you guys — the FANS,” Cory wrote. “Please believe WHEN I do come back I’m coming to WIN IT ALL!!!”

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