Did you watch the women’s skeleton event last night?
I mean, probably not… It being Valentine’s Day and everything. But if you missed it, you really missed it, because Noelle Pikus-Pace won silver for the USA, and her reaction to winning was one of the sweetest I’ve seen.
I teared during her entire interview with Meredith Viera after she won (how great did Meredith look last night, behind that big Olympic desk?! You go girl.), and my goodness. What a sweet story from Noelle.
You can watch the full video interview here, and I completely recommend it.
Noelle officially retired after the last Olympics in Vancouver, where she finished 4th. She said she wanted to focus full-time on her family, and she was “loving their life.” She got pregnant with her second child, a girl, and then had a miscarriage at eighteen weeks. Even last night, chatting triumphantly with Meredith, she teared up as she talked about it.
Her husband encouraged her then to get back into the sport, because she needed something else to focus on. (This, by the way, completely enforces my “hobbies make you feel normal again” theory.) Then she went on and on to gush about how her husband was “the best in the world,” and “what a Valentine’s present!”
As I watched her talk about his sacrifices and his encouragement, it became obvious how beautiful their marriage must be. I have been taught over and over again how the best leaders serve their followers, and the best followers empower their leaders. It’s completely opposite of what culture would say, and completely opposite of natural leading tendencies.
But then, the last shall be first.
Some Olympians stand on the 2nd place position of the podium with angry, bitter tears. Noelle was such a lovely picture of humility and grace standing there, ecstatic and grateful for dream come true.
Sending a deepest congratulations to Noelle and her family; we are incredibly proud of you!
Related:: Bode Miller’s wife giving him a pep talk post-slalom race. Awesome.