Noelle Pikus-Pace has ended her career as an Olympic medalist.
The American skeleton racer – who endured through injuries from a bobsled crash in 2005, a fourth-place finish at Vancouver in 2010, and a miscarriage in 2012 – scored the silver in today’s women’s final at Sanki Sliding Center behind gold medal winner Lizzy Yarnold of Great Britain, who earned the Olympic title by nearly a full second across four runs.
Before taking her final run tonight, she went on Facebook to thank everyone that has supported her over the years, and then revealed her goals for the run on Twitter.
She certainly wasn’t scared as she made her way through the 17-turn course.
VIDEO: Pikus-Pace “couldn’t get to her family fast enough”
After reaching the finish line and finding out that an Olympic medal was hers at last, she went over the wall and into the crowd to celebrate with her family before taking part in the flower ceremony.
VIDEO: Pikus-Pace thanks her mom for her Olympic journey
The bronze went to Elena Nikitina of Russia, who kept Pikus-Pace’s American teammate, Katie Uhlaender, off the podium by a mere four one-hundredths of a second.
WOMEN’S SKELETON – FINAL STANDINGS
1. Lizzy Yarnold (GBR), 3:52.89
2. Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA), 3:53.86
3. Elena Nikitina (RUS), 3:54.30
4. Katie Uhlaender (USA), 3:54.34
NBC Sports will air coverage of 87 Alpine skiing races at 22 resorts across the globe this fall and winter, from October through March, in the final full season before the 2018 Olympics.
Highlights include fall and winter stops in the U.S. with races in Killington, Vt.; Beaver Creek, Colo.; Squaw Valley, Calif.; and the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., in March.
Lindsey Vonn‘s highlighted World Cup stop will be downhill and super-G races in Lake Louise, Canada, the first weekend of December.
The world championships in February will be in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin will look to defend titles.
ALPINE SKIING SEASON PREVIEWS: Men | Women
Canadian skier Phil Brown was fortunate to walk away from an airborne crash at the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, on Sunday.
Brown failed to finish his first run, losing contact with the snow early on and falling hard onto his side.
He tweeted a video of the crash, with slow-motion replays, with a soundtrack of Irish singer Enya‘s “Only Time.”
The World Cup season continues with men’s and women’s slaloms in Levi, Finland, in three weeks.
MORE: Ted Ligety recovers to finish fifth in first race in 9 months