Todd James Eldredge was born August 28, 1971 in the small town of Cape Cod in Chatham, Massachusetts. His father, John, is a commercial fisherman and his mother, Ruth, a licensed practical nurse. Todd also has an older brother, Scott, who lives in Maine.
When he was five, Todd received hockey skates for Christmas. Within two weeks, he asked for figure skates instead because he “wanted to jump and spin”. Although the Eldredges initially questioned Todd’s interest, it soon became apparent that he loved to skate. There were many times they woke up early with Todd standing by their bed wanting to go to the ice rink.
Leaving Home & Traveling to Train
At the age of 10, after working with coach Richard Callaghan at a summer skating clinic, Todd and family decide he would move to Philadelphia (to live with a family friend), and train full-time with Richard.
Todd’s mother Ruth left home to join him as he followed his coach from Philadelphia to Colorado Springs, then on to San Diego, while John and Scott remained in Chatham. In 1992, Todd followed Richard to train at the Detroit Skating Club in the Detroit suburbs where he lived and trained for 17 years.
Help From the Community of Chatham
Financing Todd’s training was a financial hardship and his family nearly had to end his skating lessons and bring him home. At this critical juncture (in 1983), the community of Chatham banded together and raised funds to help Todd pursue his skating career.
In 1985, four years after starting with Richard, Todd became the U.S. Novice National Champion. In 1987, he won the title of U.S. Junior National Champion; a year later in 1988, he became Junior World Champion. By 1990, at the age of 18, Todd had won his first senior level U.S. National Championship. A bronze medal at the World Championships followed in 1991, and he was well on his way to the 1992 Olympics. Unfortunately, it was not to be the Olympics he would have hoped for. Hampered by a back injury, he finished tenth in Albertville.
A difficult period followed, filled with challenges, and Todd contemplated quitting. He, himself, called it the “worst of times.” During this timeframe, many wrote off his career. Todd, however, did not; he decided he was committed to the sport and began training harder. He persevered and had regained his focus and confidence prior to the 1994 Nationals. Unfortunately, his challenges were far from over. Days before the competition, he contracted a severe case of the flu. Despite being ill, he competed, but finished a disappointing fourth, failing to qualify for the 1994 Olympic team.
After a three-year absence from the podium, Todd returned to win, in 1995, claiming his third U.S. National title. He went on to take the silver medal at the World Championships. Afterwards, Todd placed the silver medal around his father’s neck as a show of appreciation for his support throughout the years. In December 1995, Todd toured with the Nutcracker on Ice show. Despite a lack of training time while on tour, Todd earned the silver medal at the U.S. Nationals that year and also earned a place on the U.S. World Team.
The 1996 World Championships were held in Edmonton, Canada. His performances were both technically difficult with dazzling artistry. He captured the gold medal, becoming the first U.S. man since Brian Boitano to win gold at the World Championships. Similar to his previous World medal, Todd placed the gold medal around his mother’s neck in a show of his appreciation. When ABC televised this “golden moment”, it created an enduring image that still remains in the minds of many skating fans worldwide.
Watch Todd Eldredge’s 1996 World Championships winning performance on our Video Page here.
In 1997, at Skate America in Detroit, during warm-up for the long program, Todd tripped and fell, dislocating his right shoulder. After popping his shoulder back into place, and in great pain, he went on to skate an impressive long program. He ended up winning Skate America and received a standing ‘O’, along with his first 6.0 in competition. In spite of this win, the residual shoulder damage and bruised ribs from the accident had repercussions later on. Todd continues to hold the record for the man with most Skate America wins, with 5 gold medals.
In Nagano, as the reigning World Silver Medalist, Todd was a podium favorite. He debuted a new short program to “Les Miserables” and, after an artistically upbeat and technically clean skate, Todd was ranked third. Two days later, Todd took the ice for his free-skate. After doubling the second jump in two combinations, he popped his triple axel. Always a tough competitor, he threw in a second triple axel, but fell. He finished just off the podium in fourth place.
He arrived at the 1998 World Championships determined to try and erase the memories from Nagano. Todd won his qualifying round, but a mistake in the short program left him sitting in fourth going into the free skate. Although he fell on his quad attempt, he went on to deliver a powerful performance, winning the free skate and earning his third World silver medal.
Todd’s 1998 season ended at the Goodwill Games. He skated a strong short program and had a breathtaking free-skate performance, taking the gold medal. Every time he stepped onto the ice, a roar erupted from the crowd. It was finally a golden ending to a difficult season.
For the next two years, Todd took advantage of the new rules of the ISU, which allowed him to compete in “open” events, but to take a break from Nationals, Worlds and other eligible-only competitions. By doing so, he retained his Olympic eligibility, yet gave his body a break from the grueling pace. He had a significant number of victories in these events.
At the end of the 1999-2000 season Todd decided to return to the eligible-only world. In October 2000, he landed his first quadruple jump in competition, winning his third straight title at the Masters of Figure Skating.
Returning to the grueling pace of Olympic eligible skating was harder than expected; however, Todd’s athletic skill and determination still landed him on the podium at both of his Grand Prix events. At the 2001 U.S. Nationals, Todd placed second, and earned one of the two spots on the U.S. World Team.
At the 2001 World Championships Todd placed third. He had helped secure three Olympic spots for the U.S. men and earned an unexpected bronze medal. This feat was accomplished ten years after his first World medal, also a bronze, in 1991, bringing his world medal count to a total of six.
At the 2002 U.S. Championships in L.A., Todd had only one goal in mind, making the Olympic team. He skated a clean and artistically powerful short program using a triple axel, triple toe combination. Afterwards, Todd found himself in an unprecedented tie for first place. Two nights later, he skated his long program. While technically difficult, completing seven triple jumps, it was Todd’s emotional and artistic performance that placed him at the top of the podium, making him a six time U.S. National Champion and a member of the 2002 U.S. Olympic team.
At the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Opening Ceremonies, he was a part of the honor-guard selected to carry the flag from the World Trade Center. Todd was truly honored to haven been voted for by his fellow U.S. Olympians and the experience was an emotional and memorable one. Todd placed 6th overall at the Salt Lake City Games after rebounding from a flawed short program to skate an inspired long program. Despite not placing on the podium, Todd skated a memorable performance on which to end his Olympic career.
Todd Eldredge – Honor Guard carrying the World Trade Center flag at the opening ceremonies for the 2002 Winter Olympics
Before the 2002 Games concluded, Todd officially announced his retirement from Olympic eligible skating. Todd ended his competitive career as a World Champion and six-time World medalist, six-time U.S. National Champion and a three time Olympian.
After the 2002 Games Todd joined the Stars on Ice Tour, already in progress, as a special guest star for the remainder of the US and Canadian tours. He then signed a six year contract as a headliner with Stars on Ice, the preeminent ice show in North America.
Todd began his professional career aiming to expand his artistic scope, trying new styles of music and themes to his programs. Over the years he refined his showmanship, performing jazz numbers, comedy programs, classical crossover ballads, and Flamenco. Impressing audiences in the group numbers on the Stars on Ice tour, he continued to enhance his versatility. As a crowd favorite, Todd continued to compete in professional and pro-am events and perform in benefit shows and skating shows for television. He also added the role of television commentator to his resume during the 2002-2003 skating season. He often appears on NBC’s The Today Show to promote the Stars on Ice tour and other skating shows.
Always active in charitable endeavors, Todd participates in many causes and non-profit organizations, including the Special Olympics and The Suite Dreams Project – which provides a healing environment for children with critical medical issues. He has also partnered with Chevrolet and the United States Figure Skating Association to present “It’s Great to Skate,” a series of basic skills clinics across the country. An avid golfer, Todd is a regular in celebrity golf tournaments that raise funds for various charities.
Giving Back to Chatham
Todd has given substantial financial support to the Chatham Recreation Fund for the future development of young athletes, and a local multi-purpose field in his hometown of Chatham, MA has been named after him. Todd was twice voted Athlete of the Month by the United States Olympic Committee, has been made an Honorary Member of U.S. Figure Skating, and has an Honorary Lifetime Membership at the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club, which he has represented for three of his six U.S. Champion titles.
Southern California – Private Lessons – Figure Skating Seminars