Hi I'm Noelle Pikus Pace
In high school I competed in basketball, soccer, softball, track and field and bobsledding. My senior year I fell in love with the sport of skeleton. Skeleton is a crazy winter Olympic sport where an athlete sprints 40 meters and dives head first onto their stomach, on a 70 pound sled, and slides down a bobsled track. Our chins are just an inch off of the ice and we reach speeds of 90 MPH. Going into the 2006 Winter Olympic Games I was ranked 1st in the World. During a training session for our Olympic Trials, a bobsled flew out of the track and hit me. I sustained a broken leg and was unable to compete. I came back the following season and became the first American woman to win the World Championships. Knowing the importance of having a family, my husband and I decided to have a baby. Wanting to fulfill our Olympic Dream, we decided I should continue to compete. I competed in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and finished 4th...just .10 outside of the medals. I retired following the Olympics, knowing I wanted to spend more time with my family. However, the summer of 2012 my husband and I kept having the thought that I should return to compete again. We truly don't know why, but after much fasting and prayer we feel that we are supposed to go for the 2014 Games, with the stipulation that we travel together as a family. We were able to do so for the 2012-2013 season and are planning to do it again as we have our sights set on the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Why I am a Mormon
I have read the Book of Mormon, prayed about it sincerely, and had the confirmation and spirit of peace testify that it is true. I know that God loves us and would not leave us alone without direction on this Earth. I know that we have a purpose while we are here. I know that families can be together forever after we move on from this life and am so grateful to know that life does not end here.I'm grateful for the peace that living the gospel principles brings into my life and my family's. I know that we have a living prophet today. I love our Savior, Jesus Christ, and am so grateful for the atonement and the blessing we have to use it in our lives. I am a Mormon because I know without a doubt that it is true.
How I live my faith
I absolutely love the youth and currently serve as the Stake Young Women's President. I know that Heavenly Father knows and loves each of us. I know in my own life he has never left my side. Before each season I pray and fast to know that the decision to compete is in accordance with His will. In 2005 I was ranked 1st in the world in the sport of skeleton. I remember going to the temple, fasting and praying to know if I should compete going into the Olympic season and having the peace within my heart, the prompting of the holy ghost, that confirmed to me that He would be with me in my decision. A few months later I was hit by a 1600 pound, 4-man bobsled that was moving around 70 MPH. In an instant all of the time, money, training, workouts, and sacrifices that had gone into fulfilling my Olympic dream vanished. Despite this devastating trial I knew that I was where Heavenly Father wanted me to be and that I was going to be okay. He lifted my spirits and helped me to recover quickly. My testimony and faith in Jesus Christ were strengthened. In the Olympics in 2010 I finished 4th, just .10 of a second outside of the medals and yet I had never felt so much peace following a race as I did then. I knew I had given my best and had nothing more to give. I also knew that if it was Heavenly Father's will for me to win a medal, he could have easily given me that tenth of a second, but it wasn't meant to be My testimony was strengthened once again. I retired after the Olympics with a desire to grow our family. We had our second child in 2011. During the summer of 2012, both my husband and I felt prompted, and we couldn't keep the thought from our hearts or minds, that I should return once again. We felt strongly that I should try to compete in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, with the stipulation that our family would travel together throughout my 5 months of competitions. We have moved forward in faith not knowing exactly why I am returning other than we feel it is right.