Noelle Pikus-Pace gave an emotional TEDx Talk, going through her skeleton career, saying untucked shoelaces cost her an Olympic medal in 2010, and mentioning her second miscarriage, which came after she retired this year.
Pikus-Pace finished fourth at the Vancouver Olympics, four years before the mother of two won silver in Sochi. In 2010, Pikus-Pace was one tenth of a second behind the bronze medalist.
She said what cost her was not tucking “the little loopy part” of shoelaces into her shoes before diving onto her sled and barreling headfirst down the track — the friction of the laces dragging along the ice all the way down the track.
The theme of Pikus-Pace’s 17-minute talk was friction.
“Is friction a good thing or a bad thing?” she asked a crowd at Utah State University, most of whom knew what the sport of skeleton was.
Pikus-Pace couldn’t hide her emotions when mentioning her two miscarriages, one during her brief post-Vancouver retirement and a second, a few months after the Sochi Olympics.
He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.
“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history
Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.
Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.
Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.
He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.
Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.
“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”