Mellisa Hollingsworth is a Canadian athlete probably best known for her bronze medal win in the women’s skeleton event at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. She has been competing since 1995. She is set to represent Canada at her 3rd straight Olympics.
Mellisa Hollingsworth grew up as a country girl. She was raised around horses while hanging out with cowboys and cowgirls. Rodeo was also a tradition. When not doing sports, she liked to ride. Before she got into skeleton, she ran track and played basketball. It was her cousin and two-time World Skeleton Champion, Ryan Davenport, who introduced her to the sport.
Mellisa Hollingsworth almost quit the sport after she was denied the opportunity to compete at the 2002 Winter Olympics only three weeks before the opening ceremony.
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After her loss in Vancouver, she said, “It’s one of those things as an athlete you train your life whole for. When you don’t reach your potential and you make a mistake, you feel bad. That’s how you got to be on the Olympic stage – it’s because you are a perfectionist and you want to be the absolute best and you’re good enough to be the absolute best.” She added, “I was really motivated right after Vancouver. That’s a whole lot different than when you come way with a win. Sometimes you get exhausted by a win, whereas when you lose, you’re a little bit…hungrier.”
Mellisa Hollingsworth then turned to rodeo to bring balance back to her life. “I decided that I wanted to rodeo the next couple of summers.” She added in a separate interview, “I’m not really the person who enjoys going on a trail ride. I can appreciate that, but I want to be in the arena, working on drills with my horse and setting a goal and seeing improvements.”
As for the comparison between horses and skeleton, she said, “Even though you’re riding a horse, it’s a being. I sometimes say my sled has quite the personality itself.”
Mellisa Hollingsworth wrote on her website, “I no longer hit the start line to participate in races. I’m now focused on sliding to the podium and winning each time I put on the Canadian uniform.” She is married and resides in Canada.