Derek Parra, 2002 Gold and Silver Olympic Medalist, Joins the UAF Team

The Utah Athletic Foundation announced Wednesday, July 21, 2010 that Derek Parra, 2002 Gold and Silver Olympic Medalist in speed skating will be joining Utah’s Olympic Legacy Foundation as its new Outreach Director for Youth Sports Programs. Parra will play a vital community role in helping Utah’s youth connect with winter sports programs offered at Utah Olympic Oval and Utah Olympic Park. He will also oversee the Utah Olympic Oval’s speed skating programs, ensuring a dynamic series of age-appropriate athlete development programs on the “World’s Fastest Ice!”

Parra has assisted in the development of the organizations Olympic legacy efforts and goals while serving as a Board member of the Utah Athletic Foundation since 2007. And, as a member of the organization’s Sports Development Committee, he contributed his knowledge as an athlete and a coach. Parra said, “As a board member for the past three years, I have been fortunate to witness the Utah Athletic Foundation’s passion and commitment for youth sports in Utah. I am excited about this opportunity because it blends kids, sports and Utah, all of which I love. I am looking forward to working with kids and helping them in the process of not only being a champion in sport, but a champion in life”.

As one of the finest speed skating coaches in the world, Parra will bring a level of expertise to the beginner level programs never seen before in the United States. He will also use his unique expertise and community minded perspectives to further encourage Utah’s youth to engage in winter sport and physical activity.

Colin Hilton, Utah Athletic Foundation CEO, said, “Our Olympic legacy organization is very fortunate to have such a talented and respected individual lend his efforts towards the development of our young athletes. We look forward to growing our youth speed skating programs and expanding participation in all our unique winter sport program offerings. Derek is a perfect fit to help us spread the message about Utah’s Living Olympic Legacy and our efforts to promote winter sports in the State of Utah.”

Marc Norman, Utah Olympic Oval’s Director added that “Having one of the nations best coaches focus his efforts on our youth speed skating programs is very exciting. Derek will be involved in the day to day coaching and mentoring of beginner level participants bringing his skills to those he can impact most. This unique opportunity to work with a Gold Medal Olympian is not offered anywhere else in the United States. Parra will add a unique twist to coaching the youth of Utah, ensuring that their sport experiences are rewarding and fulfilling. His creative and innovative coaching techniques focus on kids having fun while promoting active and healthy lifestyles”.

Parra’s athletic successes include the 2002 Olympic Gold Medal in 1500 meters setting a new World Record and the 2002 Olympic Silver Medal in the 5000 meters setting a new American Record. His years of training and his coaching with the US Speed Skating team contribute to a wealth of experience and knowledge that he will bring to the Utah Athletic Foundation; not only in speed skating, but in overall sport and athlete development.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: