Derek Parra
Sport Director
Derek doesn't like to brag but we do and his accomplishments and contributions to speed skating are too important to not share. Gold & Silver Olympic Medalist, World Champion, World Record Holder and all-around great guy, Derek is now the leader of our Youth Outreach effort. Of course, he still coaches speed skating too! At 14, Derek began roller skating in his hometown of San Bernardino, CA and by 1996 he had become the most decorated athlete in the history of the sport. He had everything but an Olympic Medal. So in 1996, he switched from inline skates to ice skates to chase after that medal. Just two years later he earned a spot on the 1998 US Olympic Team. In 2001 he won a silver medal at the World Single Distance Championships (1500 meters) setting a new American Record and marking himself as "one to watch" at the 2002 Olympic Games. In Salt Lake City he did not disappoint! In a remarkable 5000 meter performance on opening day of the Games he briefly held the world record en route to a silver medal finish. That set the stage for a stunning world record finish and Olympic Gold Medal in the 1500 meter event!