According to LDS Living Magazine on Tuesday, American skeleton star Noelle Pikus-Pace would like to honour her mother and sister if she wins an Olympic medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
The season got off to a tough start for Pikus-Pace. At a World Cup event in Calgary back in November, Pikus-Pace had thought she won the race only to find out later she was disqualified for having an illegal piece of tape around the handle of her sled.
It was obviously a very difficult moment for Pikus-Pace, but she has rebounded exceptionally well. Since the experience of adversity, she has won World Cup races in Park City, Utah; Lake Placid, New York; St. Moritz, Switzerland and Konigssee, Germany. Momentum for Pikus-Pace heading into the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi is clearly on her side.
As for Calgary's Sarah Reid, it has been a tough year after winning the bronze medal at the 2013 World Skeleton Championships in St. Moritz. She is only 17th on the World Cup circuit this year.
On the men's side, the Latvian brothers of Martins and Tomass Dukurs are both definite medal contenders. Martins Dukurs won eight of nine World Cup men's skeleton competions last year, while Tomass had four podium finishes.
While Latvia has been an inependent nation, they have never won an Olympic gold medal. Luger Martins Rubenis won bronze in men's luge at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, while Martins Dukurs won silver in men's skeleton and Andris and Juris Sics won silver in men's doubles luge at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
The Canadian men will be led by John Fairbairn of London, Ontario who won a World Cup bronze medal in St. Moritz earlier this month and Eric Neilson of Lethbridge, Alberta. who was fourth at the World Championships last year.
Here are my skeleton predictions:
Men's Skeleton (February 14 & 15)
Women's Skeleton (February 13 & 14)
Gold--Noelle Pikus-Pace--United States
Silver--Elizabeth Yarnold--Great Britain
Bronze--Shelley Rudman--Great Britain