Noelle Pikus-Pace was the world’s top-ranked skeleton racer on Oct. 19, 2005, when her right leg was broken in a horrific crash during a training session in Calgary, Alberta. She was standing near the end of the track when a bobsled with an inexperienced driver at the controls couldn’t stop in time and smashed into Pikus-Pace, sending her flying.
The injury not only dashed her chances of competing at Turin, but also nearly ended her career. A documentary, titled “114 Days,” records her amazing six-week recovery from the compound fracture in her leg, a career-threatening injury. After the 2006 Olympics, she has kept training and won the World Skeleton championships in 2007 by the largest margin in history. Then, Pikus-Pace skipped the 2007-08 season to have her daughter Lacee, before returning to competition in 2008 in a bid to qualify for Vancouver. The injury, the time off and her new role as a mother have all contributed to provide Pikus-Pace with a new perspective as she prepares for the competition to open at the Whistler Sliding Center on February 15, 2010.
“Going into 2006, I think I just viewed the Olympics a little bit different than I do now,” she said. “Back then, it was more of just something that fell into place. I was first in the world, and it was expected of me to go the Olympics and to win a medal.”