Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014

Noelle Pikus-Pace wears LDS Young Women necklace throughout Olympics

By Sarah Petersen, Deseret News

Published: Tue, Feb. 18 3:00 p.m. MST

 Olympic athlete Noelle Pikus-Pace wears both the Young Women medallion and Young Women torch pendant during an athlete profile created by P&G.

Olympic athlete Noelle Pikus-Pace wears both the Young Women medallion and Young Women torch pendant during an athlete profile created by P&G.

(YouTube)

Noelle Pikus-Pace is an Olympic silver medalist and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although Pikus-Pace's comeback to compete in the skeleton event after retiring in 2010 warrants its own attention, the Olympic athlete has also made headlines for her positive attitude and love for her family.

But what many members of the LDS Church have also noticed is her willingness to display her faith. Throughout interviews before and during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Pikus-Pace has not only spoken about her beliefs, but she has been spotted wearing the Young Womanhood Recognition medallion, which girls in the LDS Church can earn through the Personal Progress program, and the Young Women torch pendant, which is the Young Women logo.

After Pikus-Pace's last race, in which she took home the silver medal, Summer Sanders with NBC interviewed the Mormon athlete. Pikus-Pace sported the silver Young Women medallion and torch along with her racing suit. During the interview, Sanders became emotional as she spoke with Pikus-Pace about her success.

Later that night, Pikus-Pace would also wear the torch pendant and medallion around her neck as she stood on the Olympic podium and received her silver medal.

Back home in Utah, Pikus-Pace served as the Stake Young Women president, which kept her closely involved with the youths in her area, according to Mormon.org. In an interview with Deseret News' Amy Donaldson, Pikus-Pace offered advice to teenage members of the LDS Church.

"I hope the young women and the young men can see that it really is important, more than ever, to stand for something today, and to stand up for your values and beliefs," Pikus-Pace told Donaldson. "Even if you’re the only one having to stand alone. … There are always others who can help support you, and Heavenly Father is always right there by your side."

Pikus-Pace has also shared her beliefs on her Mormon.org profile.

"I know that Heavenly Father knows and loves each of us. I know in my own life he has never left my side. Before each season I pray and fast to know that the decision to compete is in accordance with his will," Pikus-Pace shared online.

"I know that we have a living prophet today. I love our Savior, Jesus Christ, and am so grateful for the Atonement and the blessing we have to use it in our lives. I am a Mormon because I know without a doubt that it is true."

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com

Pikus-Pace hopes skeleton silver can inspire greatness

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1. Oatmeal
Woods Cross, UT,
Feb. 18, 2014

I am a Noelle Pikus-Pace fan. Last week, I had no idea who she was.

2. Kings Court
Alpine, UT,
Feb. 18, 2014

Well, isn't that special.

3. Some Goober
Prescott, AZ,
Feb. 18, 2014

Noelle, thanks for wearing your YM necklace. Great to see people standing up for what is right.

4. bw00ds
Tucson, AZ,
Feb. 18, 2014

Yes, as a matter of fact, it is special.

5. Paul B.
South Jordan, UT,
Feb. 18, 2014

I have great admiration for any person who dedicates years to a worthwhile goal and succeeds despite great challenge and adversity. I also applaud the similar story of Alexander Zubkov and others who exemplify the deeper Olympic ideals. To see Nicole stand up for her country, faith, family and values is inspiring. How anyone could make light of her story or belittle her performance is not just disappointing but completely baffling - and extremely small-minded. You have done great things Nicole, and the medal is just one of them! I stand in awe.