Parkin competed in his first Olympic games in 2000 at the age of 20. He used sign language to communicate with his coach. About his trip to the Olympics, Parkin said "I am going to the Olympics to represent South Africa, but it's so vitally important for me to go, to show that the deaf can do anything. They can't hear, they can see everything. I would like to show the world that there's opportunities for the deaf."