Friday, January 24, 2014

The Home Stretch: Olympic Bound

Noelle Pikus-Pace and The World Cup Whirlwind

So, lets recap what just happened. Just to make sure it wasn't a dream. Here it is:

  • Calgary World Cup - Gold Medal, piece of tape, hope and dreams dashed in a moment, medal gone.
  • Park City World Cup - Gold Medal, no tape, 2 track records, begins attack of the BIG HEADS!
  • Lake Placid World Cup 1 - Gold Medal, 2 fastest runs, Mormon missionaries, making headway.
  • Lake Placid World Cup 2 - Bronze Medal, crooked groove, 20 forerunners, cancelled run, 1 heat race.
  • Christmas Break - Frankfurt, LDS chapel, Mormon missionaries, Christmas markets, peaceful holiday.
  • Winterberg World Cup - Silver Medal, 1st heat tie for 1st place, Netherlands, ice skating.
  • St. Moritz World Cup - Gold Medal, 2 track records, BIG HEADS return, 2 ft of snow.
  • Igls World Cup - Silver Medal, pushers track, 100k Euros gone, Lacee is youngest to do skeleton.
  • Konigssee World Cup - Gold Medal, BIG HEADS drop in, green 1 day, snow the next, 1 heat race!

Now, here we sit in our hotel room waiting for Munich tomorrow with Mountain Crane (BIG HEADS) and then off to Sochi for 3 weeks of laying low, and 2 days of Olympics race time. We are looking forward to that flight home and excited to be back in Utah!!!

Keep checking, I'll keep everyone updated with our adventures as often as possible and with any race information that I have. Thanks for the support.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Konigssee, European Championships & The Last World Cup

Last Race - Konigssee, Germany

When:       This Friday - January 24, 2014 (Late Thursday night MST)
Where:     Konigssee, Germany
Time:        1:04 a.m. & 2:34 a.m. MST, Heat Start Times
Start #:     Noelle is off 2nd.
Length:   1250 Meters, 30 meters longer than Igls, but more technical.
Watch Online:      If video is not available click here for live race times.
                                     YouTube Videos:    No video yet:

Insider Info

Noelle Pikus-Pace has had a slightly rough week with her Grandpa passing away. Comments directed to other things and or looking forward to the Olympics are recommended. Thank you all for your support and dedicated fanship!! Speaking of which, her Mountain Crane groupies and brother just arrived this evening with another surprise visit. What die-hard fans! :) Look for the Big Heads!!!

The Track last year at night. This year is a 9 a.m. local time race. Neat track though!!!

Noelle officially qualified for the Olympics in which we will fly out to Sochi next Thursday with the team. Yipeeeeee!!!! We can't believe it is finally here.

Here are Noelle's past results here in Konigssee and the competitors to look out for in the race:

2006: Noelle Pikus-Pace 5th Place (2nd race after the Broken leg)
2007: Noelle Pikus-Pace 3rd Place
2009: Noelle Pikus-Pace 9th Place
2010: Noelle Pikus-Pace 6th Place
2013: Noelle Pikus-Pace 1st Place (Noelle's 1st win back since 2007 World Championships)

Competitors to look out for:

Marion Thees - GER
Anja Huber - GER
Katie Uhleander - USA
Lizzy Yarnold - GBR

Friday, January 17, 2014

Igls - 7 Races down 1 to go!!!


The race just finished and Noelle grabbed a Silver Medal! We are stoked and she is having an incredible season. Noelle had the fastest speed on the second run clocking in at 120.6 KMH. This is a shorter track and slower than most (Last week in St. Moritz she clocked over 133 KMH). The Austrians have been incredibly hospitable and very friendly. The track crew allowed Lacee to go down 2 times, she is the youngest person to do skeleton. She went from curve 9 and finished through curve 14.

2014 Olympian - Officially named tomorrow but SHE MADE IT!!!


We leave on Sunday for Konigssee, Germany (near Salzburg, Austria) for the last World Cup race of the season. It is about a 2 hr drive from here. This is where the famous Eagles Nest is located and beautiful landscapes. We will spend the next 11 days or so there before heading to Munich for the Olympic Team Processing!

Time is flying and we are enjoying as much of it as we can. Here are some pictures of this week.
Traycen thinks he is soo funny!

As you can see, not only is he funny, but he is probably the coolest person in the building.

Lacee was so thrilled she couldn't really speak.  ALL GRINS!

I was a pet Tiger.

Lacee prepping for her skeleton run. Getting some training help from Coach Tuffy.
She took her first nap in weeks right after this.

We got to ride the truck up to the top of the track! Kids loved it.

When there's a sled, you'll find Traycen in it. Without fail!

Lacee got to sign her sled #1 USA!!

Once again, Traycen on a sled with his new cheek warmer hat.

Great entertainment!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Igls, Austria - The Olympic Moment!

Next Race - Igls, Austria

When:       Friday - January 17, 2014
Where:     Igls, Austria
Time:        8:34 a.m. & 10:04 a.m. MST, Heat Start Times
Start #:     Noelle is 6th off.
Watch Online:      Heat 1 on YouTube:
                                           Heat 2 on YouTube:

Insider Info

Noelle Pikus-Pace is feeling good this week coming off a great race in St. Moritz with the Big Heads, family and friends there to support and cheer her on. If I am correct this will be the first race this season that Noelle has not had any personal fans attending! Hopefully it doesn't interfere with the good finishes she has had. Noelle took only 3 of the 6 training runs this week feeling good with the track.

Olympic Qualification:

Noelle is in a good spot right now ranked 2nd in the World, with missing a race and is still 1st in the US. The Olympic team is not officially named until after this race in Igls, Austria. Without this race Noelle is still going to make the Olympic team, it's unofficial but it looks like it is going to happen. :)

Here are Noelle's past results here in Igls and the competitors to look out for in the race:

2004: Noelle Pikus-Pace 1st Place
2005: Noelle Pikus-Pace 20th Place (on a broken sled w/ a broken leg)
2006: Noelle Pikus-Pace 11th Place
2007: Noelle Pikus-Pace 4th Place
2008: Noelle Pikus-Pace 14th Place
2010: Noelle Pikus-Pace 5th Place
2013: Noelle Pikus-Pace 2nd Place

Competitors to look out for:

Shelley Rudman -GBR
Olga Potylitsina - RUS
Elena Nikitina - RUS
Lizzy Yarnold - GBR

 Lacee had an incredible day! She got to slide down the track! The youngest ever!

Lacee in front of her sled.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

St. Moritz: Victory and the Golden Farewell

-The Toll Bridge-

1st day of sliding Noelle passed through the toll bridge (horseshoe), paid her price (the elbow, see the last post if you are unaware) and claimed the victory. It's like Indian Jones and the quest for the Holy Grail. It wasn't easy but I'm pretty sure she was the only one who made payment.

This is an awesome track! The only natural bobsled track left around. It is constructed new each year. You can view this incredibly AWESOME video on where the track lies and what takes place in the summer time around the track. There are also youtube videos on the construction of the track.

St. Moritz Track Video MUST SEE!!!

St. Moritz Bobsled track construction this year!

Her favorite track in the world and she leaves it behind with a Gold Medal victory and 2 track records! I can't think of a better way to say good-bye. It was an incredible performance and an awesome race to witness. If you didn't see them you can click here to view the races:

St. Moritz Skeleton Race Heat 1

St. Moritz Skeleton Race Heat 2

Attack of the Big Bobble Heads!

Noelle's brother Rob and sponsor Mountain Crane crew dropped in the night before to surprise Noelle with some fans! She didn't know the bobble heads were going to be there, yet they took a huge portion of race footage. Thank you for your visit, it most definitely lightened the mood and stimulated Gold Medal attitude!
Here is Rob & the Mountain Crane Crew: Paul, Courtney, Lon, Jared, Melanie and 4 month old Grace hiding behind the head on the right.
 The Bobble Heads were left here in the round about as we were leaving St. Moritz for good. Not sure how long they will stay there. But Noelle will be remembered thanks to Mountain Crane :)

The Big Heads are taking a break at the Horseshoe curve during the race.

 Noelle Pikus-Pace after the race at the flower ceremony.

 Noelle Pikus-Pace with Shelley Rudman and Lizzy Yarnold.

 Ahhhh. Cute!
 Noelle Pikus-Pace at the awards receiving the Gold Medal in St. Moritz.

 Traycen holding our very successful horn that we got in Winterberg the week prior.

Noelle Pikus-Pace with Lizzy Yarnold (left) and Shelley Rudman (right). Noelle is also holding a glass cup which is a memorial award given to her for some reason that we are still unsure about. I will find out more about the award and update you on it.

 The kids are loved everywhere and were given several stuffed animals from the medics and track crew.

That was fun! I picked up Lacee and told her to lay flat as I chucked her up in the air. Fun things you can do with 2 feet of snow.

 There was quite a bit of snow in case you haven't seen yet.

Lacee and Traycen up at the start looking down at the track on the right.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

St. Moritz Skeleton Race

Next Race - St. Moritz, Switzerland

When:       This Saturday - January 11, 2014 (Late Friday night MST)
Where:     St. Moritz, Switzerland
Time:        12:34 a.m. & 2:49 a.m. MST, Heat Start Times
Start #:     Noelle is 1st off.
Watch Online:      Heat 1 on YouTube:
                                           Heat 2 on YouTube:

Insider Info

Noelle Pikus-Pace is feeling good this week except for a minor training injury in Horseshoe. I will post video and pics below. This is one of her favorite tracks. It is the only natural track in the world, meaning it is self refrigerated by the outside temperature and it is hand built each year. Noelle has been training well and is hoping for a top 3 finish. That will make her happy and almost seal her Olympic birth.

Olympic Qualification:

Noelle is in a good spot right now ranked 2nd in the World, with missing a race and is still 1st in the US. The Olympic team is not officially named until after the Igls, Austria race on January 18th, but it would take some real opposition to keep her out right now.

Here are Noelle's past results here in St. Moritz and the competitors to look out for in the race:

2003: Noelle Pikus-Pace 11th Place
2004: Noelle Pikus-Pace 9th Place
2005: Noelle Pikus-Pace 2nd Place
2006: Noelle Pikus-Pace 11th Place
2007: Noelle Pikus-Pace 1st Place
2009: Noelle Pikus-Pace 5th Place
2010: Noelle Pikus-Pace 8th Place
2013: Noelle Pikus-Pace 2nd Place

Competitors to look out for:

Shelley Rudman -GBR (1st place last year)
Anja Huber - GER
Elena Nikitina - RUS
Lizzy Yarnold - GBR

In case you are wondering, her elbow is behind that bump. Watch the video below to see how it happened.

A closer look!

That was caught from the video below just after exiting the curve.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Winterberg Race Results

Wonderful Winterberg Wonderland!

We had a great day today at the race. We had a group of friends (senior missionary couples) drive up from Friedrichsdorf to support and cheer on Noelle!

The impatient kids sneaking on the stage to steal the trophy and the stuffed animal!

Noelle was tied for 1st place with Lizzy Yarnold from Great Britain (FYI, she was also tied with Lizzy for 4th place last year in this race after the 1st run). Noelle moved in front of Lizzy last year to claim Bronze and this year Lizzy moved in front of Noelle leaving her with the Silver medal. She accomplished what she came out to do and that was her PR push of 5.51 seconds and making it into the top 3.
Great race and in the morning we are off to Switzerland for the next race on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Germany time.