Skeletal racer Noelle Pikus-Pace has a lot to be happy about. She recently won her first Olympic silver medal at Sochi. The mother of two was also sponsored by AT&T and was involved in their national ad campaign in support of Team USA. Noelle and her family appeared in one of the commercial titled Hours. She also filmed another video for AT&T in which she talks about her training.
The free AT&T’s #ItsOurTime app allowed fans to upload a “U-S-A” chant that was shared via Facebook, Twitter, or email. The user generated content also populated a virtual wall of support at ItsOurtime.com, as well as on a Times Square billboard on the day of the opening ceremony. Celebrity Baby Scoop recently caught up with the athlete to discuss the ATT campaign, her time at Sochi and family life in Utah.
CBS: Congratulations on winning the silver medal in Sochi! Tell us what it meant to you to be able to share that experience with your husband and kids.
NPP: It was a dream come true, not just my dream, but our dream, our family dream come true. That’s why the minute I crossed that finish line I just had to be with them. I had to get to Janson and the kids. They had all given up so much for so long for that moment. It was mine, it was 100% ours.
CBS: Tell us about making of the AT&T commercial. Were your children excited to be in it?
NPP: I am so proud of the AT&T spot, they did a great job capturing our daily life when we are at home. It was a perfect snapshot of our family. Lacee has loved being involved in all the media, she picks out outfits, we do her hair, so she loves the production part. Traycen is almost 3, so he just follows what Lacee does when they are filming. They do not really get the magnitude of it all, but one day they will.
CBS: Did your kids enjoy being at the Olympics? How did dad keep them busy?
NPP: They loved all the great things we got to do. Not sure they realized it was the Olympics. They have been to every World Cup event this season and know everyone in the skeleton community, so it probably seemed like they were at another event with all their friends. We were able to do some great things as a family while traveling, visiting the sites in each location (what better way to see the world?), visiting friends, celebrating the Christmas holiday and birthdays (Lacee turned 6 in Austria), etc. We always have a bag of toys and goodies for them to play with. Most of the time Janson is getting them to stay active and burn some energy, they are running, climbing and exploring everywhere we go.
CBS: Is the commercial representative of a day in your life?
NPP: Absolutely, it is organized chaos. Janson and I try to plan at the beginning of every week the best we can and then we just jump right in. One minute I am training and the next minute I am running to soccer games, getting food on the table, etc. It was a perfect window into our lives.
CBS: You travel so much during the year – where is your home base? How do you stay connected to your family?
NPP: We live in Eagle Mountain, UT, just outside of Salt Lake City. The four of us traveled the world together for the season and into the Olympic Games. Honestly, AT&T kept us connected. I could call my mom and dad, my sister, friends from anywhere in the world. We were calling, texting, emailing, updating social media, taking a million photos and video all from our cell phones through the AT&T network. They kept us connected and also enabled us to document and share our journey.
CBS: When you’re not training – what does the family like to do together?
NPP: We spend time together playing games, cooking in the kitchen, playing outside, etc. We love gardening and cooking together.
CBS: How did you decide to become a skeleton racer? How old were you?
NPP: In high school, I ran track and field and through my coach found out they needed athletes to try to bobsled. While training , our coach asked for volunteers to try something new. Before I knew it, I was on a skeleton sled and my coach pushed me down the track. I think I was the only one who jumped up at the end and wanted to go again. That is how it all started.
CBS: What are your children’s (Lacee and Traycen) personalities like?
NPP: Both kids are great little travelers and have been adaptable to moving around, to my training and to not being home since late fall. Lacee is sweet caring and very social. Traycen is all little boy-curious, into everything, and follows everything his big sister does. Both are high energy, so keeping them busy is key.
CBS: How do you balance training and motherhood? Do you struggle like most moms trying to “do it all”? Do you have childcare help?
NPP: I have the best husband in the world, we are a team and manage everything with our family. We set the schedule together at the beginning of the week which has included my training at home and at the track. We do not have childcare even when we were traveling around the world. We just jump right in and stay as flexible as we can since we know things do not always work out perfectly.
CBS: Do you have plans to have more children in your future?
CBS: What happens after the Olympics for you?
NPP: I just arrived home after solid travel since October for competitions. So, the immediate answer is laundry. We will be focusing on getting back to our lives in Utah. We have had such a great support system in our community that I need to share this with everyone back here. Once I take a deep breadth, I will also focus on my speaking career and hope to keep very busy with that. I do a lot of volunteering here at home in any way I can, so I will continue to do so. I want to write a book and have many other goals to share my story and help others.