Produced on December 28, 1969, in Worcester, Massachusetts, Todd Richards dropped from school to be a professional snowboarder. Among the sport’s best known faces following its upsurge in popularity, he competed in the 1998 Winter Olympics and won seven X Games medals. Richards has since embarked on a broadcasting career, co-founded a snowboard business and created a site for reviewing fit equipment.The only child of Ken, a leather-goods salesman, and Patricia, a hair stylist, Richards gratified his lively imagination by seeing horror movies and playing with action figures.
He picked up a snowboard for the very first time the next winter, acquiring an affinity for the little-known sport after purchasing an improved board that made turning and stopping easier.Richards registered at New Hampshire Vocational Technical College in 1987, but dropped out to continue a vocation on the burgeoning snowboarding circuit.
Known for his trademark “wet cat” move, where he’d plant his front hand and rotate 900 degrees to the landing, Richards acquired a reputation as among the premier practitioners of his craft. After winning the halfpipe in the 1994 U.S. Championships, he was at the vanguard of the ethnic shift that transformed snowboarding from a fringe activity to a mainstream sport that brought leading sponsors and television coverage.
Considered a gold medal favorite for snowboarding’s Olympic debut in the 1998 Winter Games, Richards completed a disappointing 16th in the halfpipe. Nevertheless, he went to have more success in the X Games, branching out from his signature event to earn medals in the slopestyle and big air events. Driven to take a rest in the activity after suffering a busted arm in 2003, Richards started work on his biography with TransWorld Snowboarding Magazine editor Eric Blehm. His novel, P3: Pipes, Parks and Powder, was released that November.
The time off also supplied Richards with all the ability to provide evaluation for ESPN’s coverage of the X Games. His penetration resulted in a recurring gig with all the network, and he additionally served as an analyst for NBC’s coverage of the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy. Along with his work before a camera, Richards co-founded O-Matic Snowboards and AWSM, a site dedicated to reviewing snowboarding, skating and surfing equipment. In 2009, he was the topic of the documentary Me, Myself and I.