Aaron Parchem first began skating at the Ridgeland Commons Ice Rink in Oak Park and started his competitive career as a singles skater. He graduated from Oak Park & River Forest High School in 1995 and received the High School's Tradition of Excellence Award in 2009.
In college he switched to pairs skating. He and his partner won the 2000 National Junior Championship and were alternates for the 2002 Olympic Games. Parchem and partner Marcy Hinzeman competed in the pairs skating competition at the 2006 Torino games. Aaron Parchem made history for being the first African-American male to represent the U.S. Olympic figure skating team.