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Winter sports: Utahn Pikus-Pace wins bronze in World Cup skeleton race

Published December 7, 2012 4:51 pm

Vonn fails to finish race after losing control in slalom run.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Skeleton slider Noelle Pikus-Pace won a bronze medal on Friday in her first World Cup race since returning to her sport following a 21/2-year retirement, finishing behind Great Britain's Shelley Rudman and Germany's Anja Huber in Winterberg, Germany — the site of her first-ever World Cup medal eight years ago.

"I'm thrilled to be back in the medals," the Orem native and Eagle Mountain resident said. "After team trials I knew where I was situated, and I started to set my sights high. I feel better than ever, and it's so great to be sharing this experience with my family this time around."

Just six months after deciding to return, Pikus-Pace has raised enough money to have her husband and two small children travel with her on the World Cup circuit — her personal requirement to return to the harrowing, head-first-and-face-down sliding sport in which she finished fourth at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

• For more of this story, go to sltrib.com/sports

Skiing

Tina Maze of Slovenia won her third race of the season by finishing first in both runs of a World Cup super-combined event Friday in St. Moritz, Switzerland, while Lindsey Vonn failed to finish.

Vonn, a part-time Park City resident, was fourth in the Super-G but lost control of a ski during an early turn in her slalom run and failed to finish.

Julia Mancuso of the United States was fifth after the Super-G, but slipped to 11th after posting the 23rd-fastest time in the slalom.

Figure skating

Two-time Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir is skipping the rest of the season to prepare for the 2014 Winter Games.

The three-time U.S. champion did not compete for two years after the 2010 Olympics but announced a comeback last January. He withdrew from a Moscow tournament in November after the short program. He finished fourth at a competition in Finland to start the season.

• Mao Asada took the lead after the short program at the Grand Prix Final in Sochi, Russia, on Friday, edging ahead of Ashley Wagner of the U.S. by half a point, with Akiko Suzuki close behind in third.

Snowboarding

Omar Visintin of Italy won the season-opening men's World Cup snowboard cross in Montafon, Austria, for his first career victory.

A former junior world champion, Visintin beat Markus Schainer of Austria, Nick Baumgartner of the United States and Alex Pullin of Australia in the final.