Just a few years after she emerged from retirement to take one more shot at her Olympic dream, Utah native Noelle Pikus-Pace saw her vision transform into reality Feb. 14 when, with her family by her side, she won the silver medal in women's skeleton at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. On Feb. 17, Examiner spoke exclusively with the bubbly so-called "fastest mom on ice", and addressed topics ranging from her involvement with the Kellogg's #greatstarts campaign to her strong faith to whether or not she'd be willing to don a pair of heels as a celebrity contestant on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."
How did you go from being a track and field star to a skeleton girl?
Pikus-Pace: I continued to do track and field through high school and also up through college, but at the same time, I started getting into skeleton because they were just recruiting sprinters, track and field athletes. So I went up and tried it. I don't know how you know if you're going to be good at it until you actually get on a sled and go down the track, but I figured it out pretty quickly, and I knew where I wanted to put myself in the track, and it just kind of snowballed into this whole thing.
Your cheery disposition, work ethic and dedication to family make you an inspiration to every mom I know. At the root of it all, what's your driving force?
Pikus-Pace: Wow, what's my driving force? My driving force is my faith in God, honestly. When we first decided to come back and come out of retirement, my husband and I put our faith there and we knew that this is where we're supposed to be so we did it, and we just came back and we knew we'd be stronger as a family. And now we have this, woo!
What's the best word to describe how it felt to have that silver medal placed around your neck during the Olympic medal ceremony?
Pikus-Pace: Fulfilled. Man, a dream come true. It was real, you know, at that moment, that's when it became real. When I crossed the finish line, I had an inkling that it was real but it wasn't really until it was put around my neck that we said 'Wow, we did do this. We did it.'
Your little celebration dance after your last heat was one of the highlights of the Games for me.
Are you truly done with competitive skeleton?
Pikus-Pace: I am done. I am totally done. You hear it from me right now: I am totally done.
What's one thing you'd like to accomplish in the next year?
Pikus-Pace: Potty train my little two-year old, maybe start writing a book. Something else is I want to help Kellogg's. As a part of team Kelloggs, something that we're trying to do is we're trying to help give a great start to all the kids that go hungry every morning. So something as simple as getting on Twitter, and just using the hashtag great starts [#greatstarts], and Kelloggs will donate a breakfast to a kid in need.
What surprises you most about Sochi?
Pikus-Pace: How great it's been. It's just been absolutely wonderful. The people have been extremely friendly, the transportation has gone very smoothly. We've absolutely loved it here.
What's one tip you can give families looking to keep their kids healthy and active?
Pikus-Pace: One tip I'd give is just to be together as a family. To get up and get outside and do things together. Start raising your kids so they have healthy habits and stay active and have a healthy lifestyle overall.
And because random questions are fun, might we ever see you on "Dancing with the Stars"?
Pikus-Pace: Hey, who knows? Give me a call. Let me try it out. [Laughs]
And what's your favorite band or musical artist?
Pikus-Pace: I'd have to say One Republic.