February 14, 2014 |
SOCHI, Russia - An Olympic medal had eluded Noelle Pikus-Pace in the cruelest of ways during her career. In 2005, a runaway bobsled struck her in an outrun of a Canadian track, shattering her leg and causing her to miss the Turin Games in 2006. Five years later, she missed a medal by one-tenth of a second in Vancouver. So, her jubilation was understandable Friday after she finished second in the women's skeleton event. FRAMEWORK: Best images from Sochi "This is better than gold for me," she said, through a mixture of tears and laughter.
February 13, 2014 |
In the days leading up to the biggest skeleton race of her career, Noelle Pikus-Pace did something world-class athletes rarely do: She took some time off to soak in the Olympic atmosphere with her husband and children. The United States' top racer participated in only two of six official training runs here, passing on opportunities to familiarize herself with the course and its unusual uphill passes. It's an unorthodox approach -- especially with the women's competition starting Thursday -- but it's one that has worked for Pikus-Pace since she came out of retirement two years ago. "Being a mom is my first priority and it always will be. To be able to do this all together is a perfect storm," she said before the Games officially opened.
February 13, 2014 |
SOCHI, Russia -- With a heavy heart and a distracted mind, U.S. skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender pushed through her final training runs this week. Wednesday was the fifth anniversary of her father's death, an event so devastating she contemplated quitting her sport. Her two practice runs that day were among the slowest she had posted since arriving here nearly two weeks ago. "She tried to push through it, but it was an emotional day," U.S. coach Tuffy Latour said. "[Thursday] we can focus on the race.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 8, 2014 |
Kianna Jackson disappeared first. The 20-year-old called her mother on Oct. 2 and told her she was taking the bus to Santa Ana from her home in Las Vegas for a court date. The next day she stopped answering her phone. Twenty days later, Monique Vargas, a 34-year-old mother of three, left her sister's birthday party, telling family she was walking to the market to buy groceries. They haven't seen her since. Another 20 days later, Martha Anaya, 28, asked her boyfriend to pick up their young daughter because she had to work.
February 3, 2014 |
Noelle Pikus-Pace's journey to Sochi, Russia, began the moment she walked away from skeleton racing after the Vancouver Games. Seemingly content with her fourth-place finish in 2010, she no longer wanted to spend months on the road, moving from country to country while her family stayed behind. She wanted to be home with them in Utah, where she didn't have to worry about missing both the extraordinary and mundane moments in her daughter Lacee's life. She would, of course, miss the thrill of competing and whipping headfirst down an icy track at 90 mph. But those feelings seemed insignificant when compared with how much she had missed her family while competing on the World Cup circuit during the previous two seasons.
February 2, 2014 |
Taos, N.M., has had many lives: a pre-colonial Native American community, a Spanish settlement and, more recently, an artists' colony for those seeking a quieter pace. Today, many come to Taos to ski, but this resilient small town is enjoying an artistic renaissance after the 2008 economic downturn. The town of just 5,700 has about 80 galleries featuring imaginative, provocative art that captures Native American culture and the beauty of the Southwest. The tab: Our family of three spent about $300 a night for lodging and less than $150 a day on food and sightseeing.