2017 READING CHALLENGE RECOMMENDATIONS
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How does a pipsqueak outcast with unnaturally blond hair, a Godzilla fetish, and the nickname "Toddler" grow up to be a world champion, Olympic competitor, and action sports icon? The truth is even weirder than you might think.
Growing up as an only child in a small town in Massachusetts, all Todd Richards wanted to do was play with his Star Wars toys in the woods behind his house -- and, oh, be a ninja. When he started high school, he transferred his obsessive tendencies to a new hobby that was sweeping the nation: skateboarding. But fighting off the Massachusetts weather and tangling with his parents over skateboarding and its ripped-jeans, bleached-hair image made him one depressed kid during the winter of 1987.
That's when a friend introduced him to snowboarding and revealed to him a whole new world. Before he knew it, he was a sponsored pro, but he still had a lot to learn. Fortunately -- or unfortunately, depending on who you ask -- Todd found himself in the company of some of snowboarding's most influential pioneers and most notorious wild men. A second childhood with a bunch of free-spirited snowboarders and former skate punks as an extended family taught him many things: from how a g-stringed Italian can broker a peace deal to why you should never wear novelty underwear if you are planning to knock yourself senseless on the mountain.
As Todd's career and skills advanced, he found himself no longer in the shadows of legendary snowboarders, but at the forefront of a new wave of snowboarding fanaticism that was sweeping the nation. He spearheaded the movement that pushed snowboarding from a derelict sport to theforefront of the Olympic games and into the American mainstream. Through stories of his wild experiences on tour, blow-by-blow details of his most famous victories (and most crushing defeats), and more than one hundred photos, Todd relates the story of his life, the history of his sport, and what it's like to be one of its biggest stars.
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