Go for the Goal – Noelle Pikus-Pace

Go for the Goal – Noelle Pikus-PaceThe 2014 Olympic winter Games open in Sochi, Russia on February 7, 2014.  Exactly one month later, following the 17 days of initial competition, the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games open for 10 days.  What better time to use Mainstay’s Go for the Goal sermon series.  As support material for our Go for the Goal series, we continue our series of stories that spotlight Winter Olympians whose goal is to honor Jesus Christ.

American Olympic hopeful, Noelle Pikus-Pace appears to be on track to win a medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic games. This is not Noelle’s first Olympics. She finished fourth in the skeleton competition in Vancouver in 2010. She left the sport after Vancouver to give birth to and begin raising her second child. She has returned and is blazing a trail of glory down the slopes on the World Cup tour as she prepares for Sochi.

During the first race of 2014 Noelle was tied for the lead at the end of her first run. But, in hopes of gaining speed, she made a strategic adjustment that ended up costing her less than six-tenths of a second, putting her on the podium, but in second-place. This race at Winterberg, Germany, is the fourth time in a row that she has finished second on the World Cup circuit this winter. Her finish also propelled her from fourth place to second in the overall standings. Given the margin that would be needed to gain first place at this point in the overall standings, it is not likely that she should be expected to win the World Cup this year. However, she did win the 2005 World Cup, becoming the first U.S. female skeleton athlete to ever achieve that goal.

In the 2006-2007 World Cup she finished second overall and, in January 2007, she gained another American first by becoming the first U.S. woman to win the World Championships in St. Moritz. Not only did she win the gold, but she won by the largest margin in the history of the sport.

Pikus-Pace has a long list of impressive medals indicative of her hard work to “Go for the Goal.” But, from an eternal perspective, she presses on to the higher calling of God in Christ Jesus. “The only thing that keeps me going is striving to do my heavenly Father’s will. That lightens my burden, so it’s not all about me. It’s about trying to be a good example to those around me and showing an example that Christ would have shown.”

May we remember to cheer Noelle on as she Goes for the Goal in Sochi and, even more so, as she strives to live for Christ and to be a light in the darkness, regardless of how she finishes in the Olympics.

(Sources for this story included NBC Sports, the official website of the U.S. Olympic team and the Christian Science Monitor.)

UPDATE: Noelle Pikus-Pace WINS SILVER at #Sochi2014
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