The son of a commercial fisherman from South Chatham, Mass., Eldredge knew that he wouldn't follow the career path his father had laid out when he became seasick during his first venture on the family boat.
But neither did he commit to a life on land. Instead, he became one of the world's best figure skaters.
Eldredge, who trains in San Diego, became the youngest U.S. male champion in 24 years when he won in 1990 at age 18. He repeated as national champion this year and finished third in the world.
Residents of his hometown contribute about $30,000 a year through the South Chatham Youth Hockey/Todd Eldredge Fund.