Team USA's Pikus-Pace Overjoyed with Silver Medal

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – A few hours before Noelle Pikus-Pace went on her final skeleton run she sat down with her six-year-old daughter Lacee.

“Today is a big day for Mommy,” Noelle told her daughter. “Today is the Olympics. Try to remember what you can because you will be asked about this day for the rest of your life.”

Lacee looked up into her mother’s eyes. And she said: “What can I have for lunch? I want chicken nuggets for lunch.”

And Noelle Pikus-Pace clicked a camera in her mind so she would remember this.

In the moments before that last run Pikus-Pace – who has come back from a freak injury, a hard comeback, a near miss, despondency, retirement, motherhood, another hard comeback and, why not?, a last-second concussion – she concentrated on the single thought that she had written down for herself.

There’s only room for a single thought for a skeleton athlete. The skeleton is like luge, only face first. It’s a one-minute thrill-ride with danger along every single inch of the course. So there’s no room in the brain for a hundred thoughts to bounce around. One thought. That’s it.

She wrote down: “This is it. Don’t get scared now.”

And below it she drew a smiley face.

To hear how Pikus-Pace feels about her silver medal win, you can click on the video above for her thoughts when interviewed by Sochi reporter Tim Kelchner.

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