After two years away from the her sport, skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace is officially back after finishing second at worlds in St. Moritz Friday.
“What a great day,” the 2007 world champ said after her final run. “I felt so much better today and I am excited to be on the medal stand. This has already been such an amazing year.”
Pikus-Pace, who finished fourth at the 2010 Games, announced her desire to comeback to the sport last summer. She has already finished on the podium four times during the World Cup season, and helped the U.S. win gold in the team event earlier this week. But her silver in the individual race was what she need to prove she’s ready to compete in Sochi.
“I was really focused on being consistent… I’m really pleased with my results and I know I can be competitive with the best in the world. I’ve raised the bar for myself at this point and expect to be at the top.”
Pikus-Pace started a second off the lead Friday after opening heats of 1:09.99 and 1:10.04, but she posted the fastest times of the last two heats to finish behind only Great Britain’s Shelley Rudman.
“I’d be OK finishing second or even last if I knew I’d competed at my best, but it’s tough knowing I left something behind… I know what I’m capable of now, and it just makes me even hungrier to win next time.”
“I think there’s something special about Aspen,” Mikaela Shiffrin told NBC after winning two slalom races in as many days.
After Saturday’s history-making win, when Shiffrin won her first World Cup race in the U.S. and was the first American woman to win a slalom race at the Aspen World Cup stop, the twenty-year-old won again by a large margin. After winning by 3:07 seconds on Saturday, Shiffrin told reporters, “I don’t think [my competitors] are going to let me get away with three seconds ever again.”
But on Sunday her lead over the second place finisher, Frida Hansdotter of Sweden, wasn’t much shorter: 2:65 seconds. And this was with an early mistake that left her off balance for a moment in her final run.
In third place was Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic.
This weekend also saw a podium finish for American Travis Ganong. Racing the downhill event at Lake Louise yesterday, Ganong finished third behind Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who is recovering from an Achilles injury that prevented him from competing the majority of the last season, and Peter Fill of Norway. Ganong cAksel Lund Svindal of Norwayouldn’t quite repeat his success in the Super G event on Sunday, finishing fourth.
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Hamburg will not continue its bid to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, withdrawing from the race after a public referendum was held.
If over 50% of the voters in Hamburg had voted in support of the Olympic bid they would have stayed in race. However, the New York Times reported that of the 650,000 votes that were cast, 51.7% were against the bid.
Olaf Scholz, the mayor of Hamburg, said, “This is a decision that we did not have liked but it is clear.”
A public referendum also ended Munich’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Germany has not hosted a Games since 1972.
The cities that remain in contention to host the 2024 Olympics are Los Angeles, Budapest, Paris and Rome. None of these plan to hold public referendums.
The 2024 host city will be selected on September 13th, 2017 at the International Olympic Committee meeting in Lima, Peru.