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
The 2018 Winter Games are over, but that doesn’t mean we’ll forget all the amazing heights reached by American athletes. Take a look back at a few of them here with an added twist, powered by Giphy:
My 18 most dominant gold medalists at the Olympics, choosing at least one from each sport.
1. Ester Ledecka, Czech Republic, Alpine Skiing/Snowboarding
Arguably the greatest athlete on the planet after taking surprise gold in Alpine skiing’s super-G and snowboarding’s parallel giant slalom (where she was the clear favorite). The 22-year-old became the third athlete to win individual Winter Olympic gold medals in different sports, the first since 1932 and the first woman. The other two were done in cross-country skiing and Nordic combined, the latter being a mixture of ski jumping and cross-country skiing. Ledecka’s feat was certainly more impressive.
2. Marit Bjørgen, Norway, Cross-Country Skiing
The most decorated athlete at the Games with five medals, including two golds. Bigger, though, is that the 37-year-old mom broke countryman Ole Einar Bjørndalen’s record for career Winter Olympic medals, finishing with 15. She also tied Bjørndalen and Bjørn Dæhlie’s record of eight Winter Olympic titles by winning the last event of the Games, the 30km, by 109 seconds, the largest Olympic cross-country margin of victory in 38 years. In her final career Olympic race.
3. Yun Sung-Bin, South Korea, Skeleton
Under host-nation pressure, the man in the Iron Man helmet had the fastest run in each of the four heats and won by 1.63 seconds, the largest margin in Olympic skeleton history.
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