It isn't easy for Olympic hopeful Denise Parker to find free time. She trains mornings, afternoons and sometimes in the evenings to meet her goal of a place on the 1988 U.S. Olympic archery team.
Then there are the tournaments scheduled many weekends; sessions with her coaches, including one who lives out of state; and efforts to raise money to pay her expenses, such as a recent television commercial that took 61/2 hours to film.And, of course, school. Parker, a gold medalist in the 1987 Pan American Games, is just 14 years old and in the eighth grade at Bingham Middle School.
When an hourlong interview can be squeezed into her busy day, Parker cheerfully answers questions she has been asked probably dozens of times by the likes of the New York Times, Johnny Carson and Parade Magazine.
She breezes through the story of her life since she first picked up a bow and arrow at age 10 and, within three years, became recognized as one of the best archers in the world.
But Parker would just as soon not talk so much about herself and get on with her daily activities. Asked if she ever gets tired of being interviewed, she responds with a soft but firm, "Yes."
The young athlete needs help to pay for her training and competition expenses. The Deseret News has established an account in Parker's name at Key Bank of Utah. All contributions will be administered through the National Archery Association to maintain her amateur status.
Contributions should be mailed to the Denise Parker Olympic Fund, c/o Key Bank of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84189-0021, or can be deposited at any of Key Bank's 30 locations throughout the state. For more information, call 237-2135.