A FORMER Newport Dragon and Welsh international player-turned extreme adventurer has announced he will be releasing his first book detailing his extraordinary story, along with his own television series this autumn.
Newport's Richard Parks set himself a series of record-breaking challenges in extreme environments after his thriving rugby career was cut short by a shoulder injury in 2009.
In 2011, the 36-year-old became the first person to climb the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents and visit all three poles within seven months
Last year he was crowned the fastest Briton to ski solo to the South Pole, despite brutal conditions, broken skis and having to spend Christmas and New Year alone on the ice.
Now the record-breaker, who attended both Rougemont School in Newport and Monmouth School, has penned a book about his five-year journey from rugby star to extreme adventurer.
'Beyond the Horizon', which offers a rare glimpse into the private life of the adventurer, will be released on Thursday, September 25.
The book details Mr Parks’ tale from the dark period of depression following his early retirement to his most recent adventuring endeavours.
The former flanker, who was named Celebrity Fundraiser of the Year in 2012, said writing the book had been a fun experience.
He said: “It’s such a huge privilege to have the opportunity to share my personal story and experiences in my first book.
“It was difficult at first to open myself up, however it’s been so much fun reliving and reflecting on the whirlwind last four years.
“It was reading a book that was part of the catalyst to this chapter of my life, so even if just one person has the same experience reading my book, it will be awesome.”
As well as the book, a four-part adventure reality series airing on Channel 5 this autumn, followed Parks on gruelling challenges including an endurance race, the world’s highest mountain biking race in the Himalayas, a double Iron Man event in Wales and more.
And the success doesn’t stop there, as it was announced yesterday that Mr Parks will joinTeam Wales at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, as the official team attachés, motivating and inspiring the athletes over the competition.
He said: “As a proud Welshman, I am honoured to be a small part of Team Wales at the Glasgow Games. This is the biggest squad a Welsh team has ever sent to a Commonwealth Games and one of the strongest with many exciting medal prospects.
“I’m really looking forward to immersing myself in the role of official team attaché.”