Utahn who won silver at Olympic Games welcomed home with parade

Posted at 9:23 PM, Feb 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-26 23:23:38-05

EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah -- Hundreds lined the streets of Eagle Mountain on Wednesday night to welcome home Olympic silver medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace.

“To have this love and support is a blessing beyond comparison,” Pikus-Pace said.

The mother of two arrived in Salt Lake City from Sochi, Russia only an hour before crowds began to form outside her front door.

“I’m elated,” Pikus-Pace said.

While the skeleton racer is used to seeing the support from her community upon returning home from competitions, the long road to this day was different.

“It was a perfect ending to this whole journey,” she said.

After an injury kept her from the 2006 games, and she finished fourth in 2010, Pikus-Pace called it quits. But then two years later, she came back from retirement with a dream of medaling, which came true in Sochi.

“When I crossed that finish line, and I saw my coach wave his hands in the air, I couldn't stop my sled fast enough,” Pikus-Pace said.

On Wednesday night, she enjoyed the win with her family and hometown.

“Just to medal at all was just really a pleasure to watch, and I knew how far she'd come and how much sacrifice she made,” said her mother, Patricia Pikus.

The short parade route from her front door to the Frontier Middle School was followed by lines of people. Together, they celebrated the ending of her long road to the podium.

“We’re on cloud nine,” Pikus-Pace said.