Peak Performers nominee: Todd Franzen, snowboarding | SummitDaily.com

Peak Performers nominee: Todd Franzen, snowboarding

Todd Franzen was one of Summit County's best snowboarders on the competition circuit in the sport's early days.
Summit Daily file

Editor’s note: Readers nominated their all-time favorite Summit County athletes for Peak Performers: The Mount Rushmore of Summit County athletes. Voting begins Sunday, Feb. 23, at SummitDaily.com/peakperformers.

Nominee: Todd Franzen
Sport: snowboarding

Longtime Summit County local Todd Franzen has been a part of the story of Summit County’s snowboarding history since he was a prodigy national championship rider as a teen in the early ’90s.

In Team Summit’s first year of competition in 1990, a 13-year-old Franzen won the U.S. Amateur Snowboard Association national championship at Mount Hood in Oregon. Franzen won more national championships over the ensuing years, showing his expertise in the halfpipe and on the slalom courses.

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Franzen’s skills and zest for snowboarding weren’t contained to the contest scene though. He became a true pioneer in Breckenridge and elsewhere for his freeriding passion and style, trying groundbreaking tricks on and over hand-built jumps and gaps. Franzen was a popular rider featured in films and magazines through the ’90s and into the turn of the century.

Years later, in 2009, Franzen was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and during this time, he used snowboarding as an escape from the difficulties of cancer treatment. Franzen’s fight against cancer inspired him to launch the Strap in for Life nonprofit organization dedicated to helping cancer patients enjoy the spirit of snowboard culture on the mountain and beyond, bringing patients to see events like Dew Tour and X Games.

Franzen still lives in Breckenridge and is looked up to as one of the true local Summit County legends of the sport.


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