LDS Olympian Shares Modesty Dilemma at Media Summit Photo Shoot

Noelle Pikus-Pace
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The following is an excerpt from Nikole Pikus-Pace’s book Focusedand was posted by LDS Living.

Before my first Olympic appearance, I was invited to attend an incredibly comprehensive social event known as the Media Summit. This national event attracts every newspaper, magazine, television broadcast, charity foundation, and webcast with any interest in sports, health, or fitness. Athletes expected to do well in the Olympics received invitations to attend, and we were asked to bring a variety of clothes to wear throughout the event. They wanted workout clothes, “Sunday best,” formal wear, competition gear and equipment, “going out” outfits, winter gear, and then basically anything else left in your closet after packing all of these items.

Near the end of the summit, my escort explained to me that one of the biggest photo shoots was just ahead. There would be photographers from Getty Images, NBC, Women’s Health, Shape Magazine, the Associated Press, and many others. Many photographers were asking the athletes to show off their bodies. They wanted to see the muscles and definition. They clapped and cheered as the athletes posed.

I was rushed into my final interview before this photo shoot, and as soon as I came out of the interview and into the massive studio room filled with lights, backdrops, and props, three women grabbed my suitcases out of my hands, opened them up, and sprawled my clothes out across a table. They were discussing what I should wear for each part of the shoot.

Another woman, Diane, grabbed my hand and rushed me off to what appeared to be a makeshift dressing room. Amidst the pandemonium of people running around, lights flashing, and people shouting, a black curtain hung from a pole to somewhat shield the person changing from everyone else’s view. As I stepped behind this curtain, the three women came running in with my clothes and told me what to wear and when to put each outfit on.

Read the full excerpt from Focused at