Wednesday, January 30, 2013

World Championships are in the Morning!!!

Hello Team Pikus Pace and Welcome to the Skeleton World Championships in St. Moritz/Celerina, Switzerland.

Inside Scoop

See below for the viewing schedule and youtube links.  Here is what is important for the next 2 days and how it works.

  -Skeleton World Championships is a 2 day event which consists of 4 runs (2 runs each day).
  -All 4 runs are added together to name the World Champion
  -Noelle needs a top 4 finish by the end of Heat 4 on Friday (the last run and end of the race).
  -If Noelle gets a 4th place finish or better she as an automatic bye onto the US team next year!  This will                   pretty much ensure that she will be going to the Olympics in Sochi (assuming no bobsleds come out of the      track at her direction and ensuring that no other bizarre accident takes place).
  - Have fun watching, don't lose too much sleep and I will keep the blog up to date with any important information that I come across.

Women's Skeleton Viewing Schedule

Heat 1: Thursday, January 31, 2013 @ 12:55 a.m. MST 
  Noelle is going off about 24th (about 1:35 a.m. MST)

Heat 2:  Thursday, January 31, 2013 @ 2:40 a.m. MST
  Based on reverse order, Noelle should be going off about 40 min after this start time.

Heat 3:  Friday, February 1, 2013 @ 1:00 a.m. MST 
    Noelle will be going off 2nd so make sure your there for the start!       

Heat 4:  Friday, February 1, 2013 @ 2:45 a.m. MST 
     Based on reverse order Noelle should be about 40 min after this start time.      

Sunday, January 27, 2013

World Champions Team USA1!!

Noelle and Team USA1 are World Champions!!!

The team event consists of 1 run from each of 4 disciplines.  
  1. Men's Skeleton
  2. Women's Bobsleigh
  3. Women's Skeleton
  4. Mens' Bobsleigh
The times from the 4 runs are added together consecutively to give the current rank.  Team USA1 was in 4th place going into Noelle's run.  Noelle had an impressive PR push and beat the women's skeleton field in style with the closest contender .84 seconds behind her, moving team USA1 into 1st place.  Men's bobsleigh was last to go where Holcomb held onto the lead to name USA1 World Champions, giving them the gold medal in the team event!  Check below to watch the highlight video of the race.  Go Noelle!  Go USA!!

From left to right:  Curtis Tomasevicz, Steven Holcomb, Noelle Pikus-Pace, Elana Meyers, Lolo Jones and John Daly.

Noelle Pikus-Pace heading into her track record run at the World Championship team event. 

Our family with bobsledders Jazmine Fenlator and Aja Evans.

Team USA1 on the podium with the World Championship Cup!

Ohhhhhh say can you see!!!!

Once again team USA1: Steven Holcomb, Noelle Pikus-Pace, John Daly, Elana Meyers, Curtis Tomasevicz and Lolo Jones.

Can't get enough of USA1: Steven Holcomb, John Daly,  Elana Meyers, Noelle Pikus-Pace, Curtis Tomasevicz and Lolo Jones.

This was a great moment after the race.  The track starts in St. Moritz and ends in Celerina.  This is considered the top of the world!


Handcrafted ice hut at the top of the track.  This is the only track in the world that is a natural track.  That means there is no artificial freezing, it is all done by mother nature.  The track is also hand built each year which makes it very unique.

Elana Meyers and Lolo Jones loading into the sled at the start of their team run.

Noelle and her coach "Tuffy" at the start.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Igls & The Hunt For $100k Euros!

Igls or Eagles?  We say it the same.  Noelle has always done well here on this track.  It was her 2nd Gold medal back in the 2004/2005 World Cup season and now with her newly found push we were pulling for a good finish.  She did very well and we were really pleased with her Silver Medal finish!

Triple Trophy

The FIBT initiated the Triple Trophy, starting this year, with a prize of $100k in Euros to the slider/sliders that win Gold in 3 tracks: Konigssee, Igls and Sochi.  Although money has never been the reason Noelle has competed, it somehow seemed to subconsciously add a little pressure.  $100k would have been nice, but with that pressure now gone, she will be able to compete in the next 2 races without the unnecessary pressure of having to win.

I will keep the blog up to date this week.  If you sign up for "Follow by email" on the blog you will be notified as soon as I update the blog with the changes and other important info.

Here is the update for the next 1-1/2 weeks for World Championships in St. Moritz.

Team Race
Sunday, January 27th at 5:35 a.m. MST
Noelle will race in the Team Event.  She has been named to team USA 1.  Here is the current link to watch this event live:

World Championships Women's Skeleton
Thursday, January 31st and Friday, February 1st
I will update the blog with further info toward the end of this week with times and links.

Here are some pics of our week in Igls, Austria:

Noelle Pikus Pace doing a little celebration slide down the hill with her trophy!

The kids on World Cup race day at the track. 

Lacee was making snow angels just about anywhere there was snow; from parking lots to hillsides and here at the bottom of the track. 

 Noelle after her first run.  She finished run 1 in 2nd place behind russia.

 Noelle and the 2 Russians who placed 1st and 3rd.

Here is our little slider.  She loves putting on mommies suit and gear and racing down the hill.  She took first here as we were cheering her on! :) 

 Noelle Pikus Pace holding her 2nd place trophy at the awards ceremony which took place about 4 hours after the race.  They didn't give any medals here only the trophy.

 Here we are after awards.  The kids love playing in the snow.  It is extremely nice when it is cold enough for them to play in the snow without it melting all over them.  This is the 1st race where it has been cold enough for the snow not to melt everywhere.

Noelle and the kids getting ready to take their victory slide down the hill at the awards ceremony. 

Once again, our little champion all suited up ready to compete!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Igls, Austria World Cup Race

This weeks race is her in lovely Igls, Austria near Innsbruck.  The race is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. here for us so that makes it an early morning race for the die hard watchers!  She will also be competing in a team event on Saturday about 7:30 a.m. MST.  I will update this closer to the race if it changes.

Igls Race Day

Friday January 18, 2013
1:00 a.m. MST

Look for the live event and remember there is heat 1 & heat 2 about 1hr 30 min apart.

Team Race

Saturday January 19, 2013
7:30 a.m. MST

This is a one heat race for 4 disciplines.  They total the times of each racer to give the team a final time.  So there will be only 1 run from the following:
Men's skeleton
Women's bobsled
Women's skeleton
Men's bobsled

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Konigssee: Mining for Gold!


At the base of the track there is lake Konigssee, which is at the base of the eagle's nest (Hitler's diplomatic home).  They have mined the tall mountains surrounding this area for emeralds and salt.  Little did we know we would find Gold!  Not a lot of it, but enough for Team Pikus Pace!

This is a track that Noelle loves and gets along with really well.  She has always done fairly well here.  Even on her broken leg, this was her 2nd race back from the accident, she placed fifth.  Noelle had been caring for a partially torn hamstring and had only taken 2 paid training runs and 2 official training runs (compared to the others who took 8 total runs).

 Noelle after her first Gold Medal Finish since 2004!

 We found a church in Munich on our way to Konigssee.  Those happen to be our church clothes that day.  It's kinda hard living out of a suitcase.

 This is a weird sculpture right in front of Mozart's house in Salzburg, Austria.

 Cute red braids, but I don't think she would have worn it ever.  We had to see what our viking child would look like.

 Me and the kids built this train track in our hotel while Noelle was preparing her equipment for the race.

 Not to bad for a family photo, with everyone on the go doing their own thing!

 Lacee was hanging out with Martin, Noelle's old coach who is now coaching Austria (where he is from).

 I put the kids in a little prison so I could take some pics.  They have these bleachers set up with one entrance from the back.  Not bad for free babysitting.

Capri Sonne from Germany.  Traycen has to do everything Lacee does.  He loves his sister.

Traycen is not going to like this picture when he's 16.

 This is an exclusive pic thanks to our camera.  Noelle Pikus Pace holding her medal and trophy.

Now that's a family picture!  We had a blast and the kids were soaked to the bone.  We set off for a 4 hour drive right after this to St. Moritz (World Championships in 2 weeks) to get some training runs in before the next race in Igls, Austria.

The Altenberg Curse is Broken!!!!!


The Curse:  Noelle has been to Altenberg about 5-6 times.  Her first couple of finishes were 13th and 11th and her last 3 or 4 races here she finished 9th and could not break the 9th place curse.  Her last time here we thought for sure she had it broken.  She completed the first run in 7th place, but right before timer beeped for her to push her helmet fogged up and there was nothing she could do about it.  So she went down one of the most difficult tracks in the world "blind folded" and finished 9th overall.

The Cure:  This time she was bound to break that curse and finish anywhere better than 9th, but we definitely did not expect a podium finish!  Under rainy conditions she pulled it out and moved up from 4th place into 3rd place to claim the bronze!

Noelle has been on the podium on all 3 German tracks this year and she has beaten her Push Record on every track but this one, where she tied it.  Way to go Noelle!!!

Noelle came from behind in 4th place and moved up to claim Bronze to break "The Altenberg Curse"!  It was extremely wet.  The kids fell asleep in the stroller, where I had them covered up and bundled under a rain cover on the stroller.

Lacee made some new friends on the Canadian bobsled team.  You can see in the pic below, she is on the very end talking to Neville.  She also befriended Emily Baadsvik, who painted her nails in this picture above. Lacee went to her room to get her nails done the night before the race.  Emily brought her back 30 min later asleep in her arms with her nails all done.  Thanks Emily.

 The day we arrived lacee climbed onto this snowbank in front of our car and fell through.  It was so warm and rainy there, that by the end of the week this snow bank was down to 10 in tall.

 Noelle doing her sprint workouts in front of our hotel.  Noelle has a new sprint coach and he has built in some workouts that she can do on the go that are helping to maintain and increase her push leading up to World Championships.  Her training has been offset a little with a tweaked back and a strained hamstring.

 Noelle found a few walls on this track.  Something she has not done in a really, really long time.  Even I never hit the wall on my way down this track! :)  The trainer applied some of this tape to help heal the bruise.

 The top 6 on the podium with their "cream sodas".  There is always some lucky person around that gets a large free drink.  For some reason 2 of the 3 German tracks are sponsored largely by beer companies.  They also give out a large 1 gallon drum.  Crazy people!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Konigssee Race Update

The next race is in Konigssee, Germany.  It will take place tomorrow evening for us, but 9:15 a.m. MST for all you back home in Utah.  Noelle has an injured hamstring right now, so we are hoping that she will be able to push her best.  She loves this track and knows it well.  We are hoping for a good race.

Konigssee Race Day

Friday January 11, 2013
9:15 a.m. MST

Look for the live event and remember there is heat 1 & heat 2 about 1hr 30 min apart.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Altenberg World Cup Race - Friday at 5:30 a.m. MST


I have just received an update that the race will begin tomorrow morning at 5:30 a.m. MST.  It can be viewed live at the following links.

Run #1: 5:30 a.m. -

Run #2: 7:05 a.m. -

If, by chance, the links above do not work go to this link: and find the live event which should be skeleton at the times listed above.

Thanks for your support and good luck viewing!

Back to Reality and Altenberg!


We were so ready to get back to competing.  It seemed like it had been forever since the last race, especially since Noelle fore ran in La Plagne.  We made our way up through Belgium and through Luxembourg on our way to Frankfurt where we would stay the night.  We first drove to the temple where we could take a peek then checked in to our hotel which was 2 min away.

So we had 2 dilemmas once we arrived here in Friedrichsdorf (just outside Frankfurt).  
1 - We had no food for dinner and we had driven around for about 30 min trying to find a place to eat with no success.  We didn't have a kitchen so we were limited on what we could make or heat up 
and we didn't want to spend $20 a plate in our hotel.
2 - We were running out of clothes and our hotel in Paris offered to wash each article of clothing at a price.  So, 1 sock=$3, 1 shirt=$7 etc... it was literally cheaper to by new clothes.  When we
arrived we also began looking for a laundromat which we found none.  Our first thought, 
was to try and find a church member, since we were so close to the temple.  But that wasn't 
going to be that easy at night, with no way to communicate and no one to contact.  

The mini miracle:  Luckily there was a grocery store right next to our hotel, so we pulled in and began looking for something to eat, something we could heat up with hot water.  So we split up and started looking.   I made my way to the frozen area and found a familiar tag, it was a senior missionary couple (Elder and Sister Eyre from Wyoming) doing a little shopping for dinner that night.  (For those who don't know, our church has over 55,000 missionaries throughout the world, most of them are young adults between the age of 18-23).  I made my way over, only to greet them, and we talked for a few minutes and I explained why we were in Germany and how long we had been gone.  They immediately wanted to meet Noelle.  As I was leaving to find her to introduce her I asked if they happened to know where a laundromat was and they didn't.  Noelle walked by, called her down and introduced her.  We spoke for about 1 min and Sister Eyre said we could come over to their place and use their washer and dryer.  She also said that she would make us dinner while we were waiting.  We were so excited.  The rest of the night was spent wonderfully in their lovely apartment home where we ate an amazing chicken fried rice and had ice cream for dessert.

That was exactly what we needed and the perfect start to the 2nd half of the season.

The Frankfurt temple at about 9:00 a.m.

Our wonderful dinner with Elder and Sister Eyre.  Thank you so much for that night, we truly enjoyed it and can't thank you enough for inviting us in.

Our family picture in front of the Frankfurt temple on our way out of town the next day.  

The Freiburg temple is only about 3 hours away from the Frankfurt temple and only 20 min out of the way from our destination.  You think we were going to pass that up?

Self explanatory, Cuteness bundled up in a bright orange coat.  The cuteness doesn't last long before the wolf comes out of the sheep's clothing.

This was New Year's Eve, Noelle had finished training and we were able to set me up with a run down the track (Thanks to Martin) from the Exit of curve 6.  I was a little freaked, since the FIBT description of this track is one of the most difficult in the world, but the ice was amazingly smooth and offered me perfect protection down the track.  I had a blast and it was the perfect way to end the year!

New Years Eve Night:  We ran down to the hotel lobby where there was some slight partying going on (as you can see on the table behind us).  We showed up 10 min before the New Year, saw some fireworks and came away with a glow in the dark balloon.