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Utah's Pikus-Pace grabs another World Cup skeleton medal

Published January 19, 2013 9:33 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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.