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As an Olympic skeleton racer, Sports Speaker Noelle Pikus Pace has been hurling herself down frozen tracks face first with a tiny sled and a helmet since she first began her career in 2001. Four years later, she won her first silver medal in the World Championships in Calgary and became one to watch as an Olympic hopeful for the 2006 Winter Games in Turin. An unfortunate freak accident at the Canada Olympic Park bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track would sideline her Olympic dream as Pikus-Pace and her teammate Lea Ann Parsley were struck by a four-man bobsleigh which failed to brake at the end of the track. The accident resulted in a broken leg which required Noelle to undergo surgery to implant a titanium rod in order to repair the leg. With her sights still set on the Olympics, the Skeleton Federation and US Bobsleigh Federation fought for Pikus-Pace to be included in the women’s skeleton competition. Although their petitions failed, the whole ordeal was documented in a critically acclaimed documentary film called 114 Days: The Race to Save a Dream.

In 2010, Noelle’s Olympic Dreams reemerged as she qualified for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. After two of her sleds were damaged, Noelle raced with her third option, a sled designed by her husband, and finished in fourth place. Pikus Pace e announced her retirement following the Vancouver Games but soon after decided to make her comeback with her sights set on the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Noelle Pikus Pace would go on to win the Silver Olympic medal for Team USA, proving to all that her comeback was worth it.

Throughout her career, Sports Speaker Noelle Pikus Pace has won Silver medals in three World Championships and two Gold, her first Gold medal in the Women’s competition at the 2007 World Championships in St. Moritz and her second in the Mixed Team competition in 2013.