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.