2015-12-31 / Front Page

Hatch to Appear on ‘The Biggest Loser’

By Olga Enger

Trainer Dolvett Quince coaches Hatch on the set of The Biggest Loser. (Photo by Tyler Golden/NBC) Trainer Dolvett Quince coaches Hatch on the set of The Biggest Loser. (Photo by Tyler Golden/NBC) A Newport native reality TV star is back onscreen.

Richard Hatch, who is best known for his win on the original “Survivor” season in 2000, will appear on Season 17 of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” beginning Monday, Jan. 4.

Since his debut, Hatch has appeared on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” “Dog Eat Dog,” “The Weakest Link,” “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” “Battle of the Network Reality Stars” and “Family Feud.” He also authored the book “101 Survival Secrets.”

The 54-year-old said although he lost a considerable amount of weight on “Survivor,” he had grown to 314 pounds and suffered from high cholesterol, high blood pressure and pre-diabetes when the “The Biggest Loser” approached him. The theme of this season’s show focuses on temptation, where the contestants learn how to deal with realworld triggers and spend more time off-campus than in previous seasons. The winner will take home a grand prize of $250,000.

Hatch does his cardiovascular training on elliptical machine. (Photo by Tyler Golden/NBC) Hatch does his cardiovascular training on elliptical machine. (Photo by Tyler Golden/NBC) After graduating from Middletown High School, Hatch attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and spent five years in the Army. He then went on to earn a degree in applied behavioral sciences and management from National Louis University and received his master’s degree in education and counseling from Providence College.

Newport This Week spoke to Hatch to learn more about the reality star:

I was born and raised in Newport and went to Middletown High School. I connected with a number of teachers growing up, especially my first grade teacher, Mrs. Flaherty. When I was a senior, I decided to quit school. There was trouble at home and I was also chomping at the bit to get moving, to get out of town. A teacher, Paul Mello, found me and said that I could move into his house as long as I stayed in school. So I did, and finished school. He’s an amazing guy; he changed my life.

Growing up, I had many childhood challenges that I believe contributed to my struggle with weight. My brother was killed while riding his bicycle on West Main Road when he was 13; I was 15. The car was holding the largest amount of cocaine ever found in the state of Rhode Island. I was raped when I was eight. I was molested when I was 10. My parents divorced when I was 11. Any number of things could have impacted my self-esteem.

I like to work out at the Chafee Fitness Center at the Navy base. I also work with a personal trainer, Brandi Navas, at Rock Star Gym. She’s incredible, a spitfire. She handles me well. I like to run on Cliff Walk, but I’m 54 with a bad knee, so I usually use the Arc Trainer for cardio.

I have three children, but there are many more. I have one adopted son and two dren who found me. I donated sperm a few times a week for a couple of years. They found me on donorsiblingregistry.com. These two were able to put it together. I’ve always known that I’ve been open to connecting to any of the children. I wouldn’t say I was their father figure, as they found me later in life, but I’m most definitely involved in their lives.

“The Biggest Loser” called me and asked me to be on the show. They hemmed and hawed, but I said, “Dude, I get it, I’m fat.” Yes. I’m heavy. I’ve been on a lot of shows, and reality is a bit of a misnomer. I prefer to call it unscripted drama. The producers select the contestants because we are interesting. This season we aren’t the heaviest the show has ever done. We mimic a broader segment of the population, but we are still obese, morbidly obese.

I don’t have a particular food weakness, but for me it’s about quantity. I love food. I can go down to the Clarke Cooke House and instead of ordering one braised lamb shank entrée, I’ll get two because they are so fantastic. Snowball in hell? Let’s get a few of them. I think I have it handled now, after the show.

Looking forward, I plan to open a business here in Newport. I can’t reveal the details quite yet, but it will be health-related. I’m also writing a book related to health and weight loss.

The new season of “The Biggest Loser,” which airs for eight weeks, begins Monday, Jan. 4, from 9-11 p.m. on NBC.

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