Club Insider

October 2016 Cover Story Preview: The Story of Chuck Richards and Sunset Athletic Club

Posted: October 11, 2016 in Other News

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Chuck Richards, Owner of Sunset Athletic ClubChuck Richards, Owner of Sunset Athletic Club

Chuck Richards was born and grew up in Tacoma Washington. Like so many kids, from an early age, he was active at his local Y. From the various sports and activities he participated in, he began to shine in swimming. Through high school, he focused on the sport, culminating in the honor of All American and being ranked #3 in the country. This led to a full scholarship to the swimming powerhouse, University of Indiana. Throughout his collegiate career, he was a 2-year All American and National Finalist. At that time, he was not at the Olympic level; however, upon graduation, his sports career did not end. Instead, he was pursued for the Pentathlon, a multidiscipline sport that included running, swimming, pistol shooting, fencing and riding. He began training and competing out of San Antonio in the summer of 1967.

At that time, the Vietnam War was continuing, and the United States was calling on adult men not in school to serve. Because of his college education, Chuck received a direct commission to 2nd Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corp and served a tour of duty in Korea at the DMZ. In a twist of fate, the modern Pentathlon was deeply rooted in the United States military, with George Patton being the first American Pentathlete. Until the 1960s, many West Point Graduates followed in the footsteps of Patton, and so did Chuck. He won his first National Championship in 1970, and when all was said and done, Chuck won three consecutive National Championships, being the only man to do so. And, the culmination of his sports career took place by being the highest scoring American at the Olympic Games in Munich, including winning the swimming portion of the event with a world and Olympic record time. It was his final swimming race after a 18-year career.

The sports career of Chuck Richards is impressive, and as you will learn, it built the foundation for what he would do in the next phase of his life. Utilizing the endurance required from running and swimming, the precision of pistol shooting, the attention to detail of fencing and the fun of riding, he would make his mark on the Portland, Oregon community with Sunset Athletic Club. Now, almost 40 years later, it has become an institution in that community, much like Red’s has in Lafayette, Louisiana; East Bank Club in Chicago, Illinois and others that exist in our great industry.

Read all about it in the upcoming October 2016 Edition of Club Insider!

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