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Noelle Pikus-Pace Colorado
Noelle Pikus-Pace

On February 15, 2014, Noelle Pikus Pace crossed the finish line of the Sochi Olympic Games putting a dramatic ending, and an emphatic exclamation point, on a 15-year journey of chasing the Olympic podium. The Olympic medal that she and her family, together, had chased around the world, for years, was finally theirs. Noelle leapt into the stands, into the arms of her husband, and into the hearts of America in one of the iconic, heartfelt moments of the XXII Olympic Winter Games.

A standout high school track athlete and native of the Salt Lake City area, site of the 2002 Olympic Games, Noelle's track coach suggested she try bobsled. She did, but soon thereafter got on a skeleton sled and fell in love with the high speed, head-first, rocket-ride most certainly not for the faint of heart.

Pace blossomed as a slider and years later became the best in the world. With the 2006 Olympics coming into focus on the horizon, Pace was the gold medal favorite. The Olympic podium was in sight. With just months to go to the big show, Noelle was severely injured in a training accident. She was hit by a run-a-way bobsled, suffering a compound leg fracture. Despite a valiant effort to return to sliding in time for the Olympics she was unable to make it back. Her Olympic medal slipped away.

Pace stepped back from the sport and started a family with her husband, Janson. In 2008, they welcomed their daughter, Lacee. As the 2010 Olympics approached, Pace got the itch to try again and she embarked on long stints to Europe, leaving behind her husband and baby girl.

By 2010 Noelle had returned to world class form, and with Janson and Lacee by her side, she took one more shot at Olympic hardware. Heartbreakingly, she missed by one tenth of one second. Noelle finished 4th. She smiled, as she always does, and retired from the sport.

In 2011, Noelle and Janson welcomed the birth of their son Traycen, and looked forward to continuing to grow their family. In the Spring of 2012, the couple suffered a late-term miscarriage of their third child. Noelle was devastated. To refocus their thoughts away from their loss, it was Janson who suggested she take one more shot at her place in Olympic history. He felt it would be a good way to heal, and to move forward as a family. Noelle agreed, but only if he and the kids went with her every step of the way. They would travel the world as a family, with both kids, diapers and toys in tow, and take one last shot at the Olympic podium.

The cost and challenges of traveling the world wide skeleton competition circuit were enormous but they faced every challenge with a smile and as a family. While Mommy went off to the track or gym to train, Daddy tended to the kids every step of the way. Janson, an engineer by trade, built Noelle's sled, and on that magic night in Sochi she rode that sled like a supermom on a mission. Finally, at long last, their dream had come true.

Since then, the family has welcomed twin boys, Peyton and Makai. Noelle is now a highly sought after motivational speaker and award winning author.

A lifelong athlete who transitioned from track and field to skeleton in high school, it took Noelle 15 very determined years to reach the Olympic podium, but she did! Along the way she became the most decorated American athlete in the history of the sport, and was the first American woman to become World Champion and to win the overall World Cup Championship.

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  • Where You Look is Where You'll Go - On February 14, 2014, Noelle Pikus Pace crossed the finish line at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia and finally earned an Olympic medal- but it wasn't an easy road. She learned through her trials the importance of setting specific goals each and every day in an effort to progress forward. After a terrible crash in Germany, she realized the importance of eliminating doubts, fears and worries within our daily lives and that where you look is where you'll go. Noelle will undoubtably make you laugh as she shares this story and applies it to life. The audience will walk away, recognizing that it is those small decisions we make daily that will shape our habits and who we will inevitably become.

  • You Always Have a Choice - Ranked number one in the world and expected to not only compete in the 2006 Olympics, but bring home the gold, Noelle suffered a tragic accident as a bobsled uncontrollably left the icy track and hit her just 3 months before the Olympic Games. As she lay on the asphalt, she realized that her leg was broken, and her dreams shattered. Noelle shares an inspiring story that opened her eyes to realize that she still had a choice to make. She could look back and be upset and angry at what had just happened, or she could CHOOSE to move forward. We all face difficulties and trials in our lives. Not one of us is immune to heartache, roadblocks or obstacles. But we ALWAYS have a choice to make once those difficulties arise. We can choose to look back... or we can choose to move forward.

  • We Did It! - It takes a team to be great. After a career altered by injury and a fourth-place finish at the Vancouver Games in 2010, Pikus-Pace's husband encouraged her to give her Olympic dream one more shot. With her family by her side, Pikus-Pace won the silver medal in skeleton with a four-run time of 3:53.86. The 31-year-old mother of two celebrated the victory with her husband and children, who were waiting at the finish line. As she jumped into the stands, she embraced her family and shouted, "We did it! We did it!" This moment was deemed the "Moment of the Games" by the United States Olympic Committee later that year.

  • Small and Simple Things: Going from Good to Great - Following a fourth-place finish at the Vancouver Games in 2010, Pikus Pace was devastated. After traveling at speeds of 90-miles per hour down a mile-long track and accumulating her 4 race-times, she missed an Olympic medal by .1 of a second. She had followed her training program diligently. Noelle had studied the track and knew how to steer her sled down the course. Was there something she missed? Fourth place was a good place to finish, but it was far from great. The summer following the Games Noelle decided to watch her Olympic race for the first time. It was then that she made a devastating realization: her shoelaces were dragging the entire way down the mile-long track and cost her an Olympic medal. In this light-hearted story, the audience will learn the importance of how the small and simple decisions we make within our lives can help us to move toward or away from our goals. It is those small and simple things that will take us from good to great.
Focused: Keeping Your Life on Track, One Choice at a Time

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