Utah’s Pikus-Pace grabs another World Cup skeleton medal
Published: January 19, 2013 09:33AM
Updated: January 31, 2013 09:25AM

Noelle Pikus-Pace is proving her comeback isn’t a fluke.

The Orem native and Eagle Mountain resident won her first gold medal in seven years at a World Cup skeleton race last week, and on Friday followed it up with a silver at a World Cup race in Igls, Austria.

“It’s still just as exciting as my first medal,” Pikus-Pace said.  “The thrill never wears off, and it might be even more exciting for me now.  I know that if I give my best I will be happy with the result no matter what, so I’m able to focus on putting together the puzzle of the track instead of my result.”

A 2010 Olympian, Pikus-Pace last medaled in Igls six years ago, when she also won a silver.

“I really feel like this season has been more successful than when I was overall champion or world champion,” she said.  “It feels like everything is coming together, and my family has so much support.  There really is a team behind me, and it makes the experience very fulfilling.”

Pikus-Pace returned to competition this season after a 2 1/2-year layoff to raise her family. Now, her husband and two children accompany her all around Europe as she prepares for the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia barely a year from now.

Pikus-Pace raced to a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 50.73 seconds, just 0.27 seconds behind Russia’s Elena Nikitina, who won her first World Cup race. Fellow Russian Maria Orlova was third in 1:51.06.