February 22, 2006 |
The results allow an introspective look at the last four years. Derek Parra reflected on an Olympic experience considerably different from the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, where he stepped onto the podium to embrace history after becoming the first Mexican American to win gold in the Winter Olympics. He will leave Turin with a shrug of disappointment, but certainly not shame.
December 27, 2005 |
Derek Parra was ready for the rest of his life to begin, eager to become a full-time husband and father and to share his belief that no barrier is too high, no dream impossible. For proof, he had only to display the two Olympic speedskating medals he'd won at Salt Lake City. But the San Bernardino native, a former inline skater and 1988 graduate of Eisenhower Rialto High, found something after the happily ever after: A comeback. Now 35, Parra will try to make his third Olympic team when the U.S.
March 10, 2001 |
When his cell phone rang, Derek Parra knew his wife was calling from Florida, but he was unexpectedly in a position where answering the call would have been rude. For the first time,the former world champion in-line skater was doing a medalists' news conference at an international event in speedskating. "Finally, after all these years," Parra said.
February 23, 2002 |
The Derek and Jochem show became a solo act Friday. In their two previous speedskating races, Derek Parra of San Bernardino and Jochem Uytdehaage of the Netherlands took turns winning in world-record time, Uytdehaage the 5,000-meter event, Parra the 1,500. Each finished second in the race he didn't win. Friday, they were paired in the 10,000, the longest Olympic race, 25 laps around the 400-meter track--but not for long. Skating a world-record time of 12 minutes 58.
December 31, 2005 |
It was a week to unburden himself of personal despair and overcome a crisis of confidence for Derek Parra, the multicultural and exuberant face of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Parra, a Mexican American from the desert in San Bernardino County, son of a prison guard who worked at Home Depot to help support his quest for Olympic glory, qualified for his third U.S. team Friday by finishing third in the men's 1,500-meter competition of the 2006 U.S. Long Track Championships at the Utah Olympic Oval.
February 5, 2002 |
So, Olympic speedskater Derek Parra, where in the Midwest did you grow up? Where, when you were 5, did you open your Christmas skates, then rush off to try them, skating till it was way past dark? Waukesha, Wis.? White Bear Lake, Minn.? Northbrook, Ill.? What's that, you say? San Bernardino? As in California? And you never had ice skates as a kid? You had inline roller skates as a teenager, which is getting to be longer ago than you care to remember?