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Utahns Noelle Pikus-Pace, Sage Kotsenburg win Best of U.S. Olympic awards

Published: Tuesday, July 28 2015 12:44 a.m. MDT

Noelle Pikus-Pace was one of two athletes who represented Utah at the Best of U.S. award ceremony for the Winter 2014 Olympic and Paralympic athletes. (USA Bobsled and Skeleton Facebook page) Noelle Pikus-Pace was one of two athletes who represented Utah at the Best of U.S. award ceremony for the Winter 2014 Olympic and Paralympic athletes. (USA Bobsled and Skeleton Facebook page)

The United States Olympic Committee gathered many of the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic athletes together in Washington, D.C., to announce the Best of U.S. award winners.

The award ceremony is a brand new program that highlights athletes who were outstanding in their performances. Each award is determined by fan vote. The award ceremony took place Wednesday, April 2, and will be broadcast on Monday, April 7 on NBCSN at 5 p.m.

Two local athletes represented Utah at the ceremony. Sage Kotsenburg, the Olympic slopestyle gold medalist from Park City, was named Best Male Olympian. Kostenburg was the first U.S. athlete to receive a gold medal during the 2014 Winter Games.

Noelle Pikus-Pace, from Orem, received the award for Moment of the Games as a result of the family-filled celebration that ensued after she received the silver medal in the women's skeleton event.

Kotsenburg was the first to receive an award, ESPN reported, and was caught off guard.

Noelle Pikus-Pace, right, was one of two athletes who represented Utah at the Best of U.S. award ceremony for the Winter 2014 Olympic and Paralympic athletes. (Noelle Pikus-Pace Facebook page) Noelle Pikus-Pace, right, was one of two athletes who represented Utah at the Best of U.S. award ceremony for the Winter 2014 Olympic and Paralympic athletes. (Noelle Pikus-Pace Facebook page)

"Whoa. I didn't really prepare a speech. I didn't know this was an awards show until last night," ESPN reported Kotsenburg said.

Sporting a blue suit, Kotsenburg explained he had just made the purchase for the event.

"I had never put a suit on in my life, so I was definitely weirded out."

Other award recipients included luge athlete Erin Hamlin as Best Female Olympian and ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White as Team of the Games.

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