Derek D. Parra
Writer, WebMD, Inc.
Derek D. Parra is a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS). He is the first Mexican-American to compete and medal in the Olympic Winter Games, winning two medals in speed skating at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah: a silver medal in the 5,000 m and a gold medal in the 1,500 m. A former inline skater, Parra won three national titles, two world championships, and 18 gold medals during his career in that sport before replacing his inline skates with ice skates to follow his dream of competing in the Olympics. In addition to his Olympic medals, Parra was also the 2001 U.S. national champion, 2001 North American champion, 2000 U.S. all-round overall champion, and silver medalist in the 1,500 m at the 2001 World Single Distance Championships.
The PCPFS is made up of 20 distinguished citizens who serve at the pleasure of the president. The council members serve as an inspiration for a more active lifestyle through personal and professional example. They speak at and participate in sporting events, organize community fitness activities, visit schools, and serve as fitness ambassadors to spotlight the benefits of physical activity, fitness, and sports.