Why weren’t we shocked to hear that U.S. skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace has emerged from retirement with the intention of making the 2014 Olympic team?
Because un-retiring seems to be the latest craze in Olympic circles.
There was American swimmer Brendan Hansen, who ended up winning a gold and a bronze in London. Other swimmers tried to qualify for the Olympics and failed, like Australian Ian Thorpe – who said he’s now gunning for meets in 2014 (and possibly 2016?)
Two notable U.S. gymnasts – Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin – fell short of making the London team after un-retiring.
And now we have Pikus-Pace, who finished fourth at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. She won world championship gold in 2007 and silver in 2005, the latter of which made her a favorite at the 2006 Olympics. But an unfortunate accident involving an out-of-control bobsled at the track in Calgary resulted in a broken leg and a missed trip to Torino.
Pikus-Pace said she was done competing in Vancouver. Now the 29-year-old is dead-set on having a successful World Cup season with the Sochi Olympics looming a little more than a year away.
But there is one catch: Pikus-Pace is not yet eligible to compete in any World Cup races; she must first compete in four races on two tracks before she’s allowed to join the tour. She’ll meet the requirement soon once she races in Park City, Utah and Calgary.
“I didn’t know what to expect going into this season because it’s been so long since I’ve competed,” Pikus-Pace told the Associated Press. “Once I got on the sled for the first time in Lake Placid a couple weeks ago it all clicked again. I knew then it was going to be a good season, and it’s actually starting out to be a great season.”