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SOCHI SCENE: Fast friends

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Photo - Noelle Pikus-Pace of the United States hugs her husband, Janson Pace, and her children, Traycen, left, and Lacee, right, after she won the silver medal during the women's skeleton competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Noelle Pikus-Pace of the United States hugs her husband, Janson Pace, and her children, Traycen, left, and Lacee, right, after she won the silver medal during the women's skeleton competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — They've always been fast, but not always fast friends.

U.S. skeleton racers Noelle Pikus-Pace and Katie Uhlaender have been teammates for years but their relationship wasn't always as close as it's become in the past year. Complete opposites off the icy track, they have shared a love for speed.

On Friday night, the two Americans became even tighter.

Pikus-Pace, with an Olympic story lifted from a Hollywood screenplay, finally got her medal, winning a silver she celebrated with her family. As the Eagle Mountain, Utah, resident learned that Uhlaender, with a gripping tale of her own, had missed out on a bronze by just four-hundredths of a second, Pikus-Pace grabbed her face and yelled "Nooooo."

"I have to give Katie a hug," she said.

Pikus-Pace could understand Uhlaender's pain. After all, four years ago in Vancouver she had missed out on a medal by 0.10 seconds and briefly retired before returning to the sport.

About two hours after the competition concluded and Pikus-Pace had revealed she had dealt with concussion-like symptoms for several days leading into the race, she and Uhlaender finally met up in the area outside the doping center at the Sanki Sliding Center track.

Pikus-Pace, a mother of two, threw her arms around a shaken Uhlaender and pulled her close, whispering in her ear and patting her back.

It was all she could offer.

— By Tom Withers — Twitter http://twitter.com/twithersAP

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Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu

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