Victory Is Theirs: Noelle Pikus-Pace

Originally Published: February 14, 2014
ESPN.com news services

Noelle Pikus-PaceJulian Finney/Getty Images

SOCHI, Russia -- Four years ago at the Vancouver Olympics, Noelle Pikus-Pace had finished fourth in skeleton, one-tenth-of-a-second off the podium. She retired the next day.

She returned to the sport two years later at the suggestion of her husband, Janson. At the time, she was recovering from a miscarriage, and she and Janson agreed that returning to the competition might be a good thing for her. But the only way she would compete was if her family was with her, home and abroad. It meant that in between trips to the track there were diapers to change, children to feed and temper-tantrums to quell.

This week in Sochi she had battled the symptoms of a concussion she suffered in training, a secret she had kept quiet from the public. After an MRI, doctors cleared her to race. Before her final run, she sat comfortably in second place. Barring a major mistake, she would likely win a medal. She gave coach Tuffy Latour a hug and confessed, "This is incredible. This is what we've come all this way to do. To be in this Olympic moment."

And what a moment Saturday night was for Pikus-Pace. The silver medal was hers.

ESPN.com senior writer Wayne Drehs contributed to this report.

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