Team USA has three athletes on its roster who have the dual role of being moms. Two of them happen to be curlers. Erika Brown, skip of the U.S. women’s team, is married to Canadian three-time world curling champion Ian Tetley and she is the mother of two boys and has one stepson. Allison Pottinger, who was invited by Brown to be the fifth in Sochi, is the mother of two daughters.
And then there’s Noelle Pikus-Pace, a skeleton racer, who calls herself “the fastest mom on ice.” Married to husband Janson, Pikus-Pace is the mother of two children, daughter, Lacee, 5, and son, Traycen, 2, and the family travels around the world to skeleton races.
Pikus-Pace knows it is not easy to juggle the roles of being a mom and an elite athlete, and she tried to explain how it works to TeamUSA.org recently, saying, “This is definitely something that’s abnormal. Other athletes come up to me and say, ‘It’s so chaotic. It’s so crazy. How do you do it? How do you make this work?’ Honestly, it’s controlled chaos. It’s time management. It’s priorities. We work very well together as a family.”
And then she added, “When my results come, they must think there’s something to it.”
The number three is also special to Team USA’s ice hockey player Julie Chu and to skier Julia Mancuso because both women have earned three Olympic medals in their careers. Chu, a forward, is hoping to return from Sochi with the one medal color she is lacking: gold. Twice, in 2002 and 2010, she was part of the U.S. women’s ice hockey team that earned silver medals in the Winter Games. In 2006, she took home a bronze medal.
Mancuso, meanwhile, won a gold medal in the giant slalom in Torino in 2006 and then earned two silver medals (downhill, combined) in Vancouver in 2010.
Amy Rosewater is a freelance writer and editor for TeamUSA.org. A former sports reporter for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, she has covered two Olympic Games and two Olympic Winter Games. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today.