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.