ALTENBERG, Ger.—Mellisa Hollingsworth capped offan emotional week for Canada’s bobsleigh and skeleton athletes with a fifth-place finish at the skeleton World Cup in Altenberg, Germany on Saturday.
After making the difficult decision to compete in Altenberg following the seriouscrash earlier in the week that sent three members of the Canada 2 bobsleigh to hospital, Hollingsworth and her teammates Amy Gough and Sarah Reid, hit thestart line with the names of the bobsleigh athletes on their sleds.
A controversial week continued on Saturday as heavy snow forced the cancellation of the opening women’s skeleton run, making it a one-run race. The 31-year-old Hollingsworth, of Eckville, Alta., battled through the conditions and the team’s emotions to clock a fifth-place time of 1:00.31 down the 17-corner track.
“It was a super tough day mentally and emotionally for everyone,” said Hollingsworth. “I couldn’t help but think of the boys in the accident especially when I was sliding through corner 16. My runs weren’t that great today, but I am okay with that right now. This week really put things into perspective to what our priorities should be.”
Twosports that usually operate independently of each other were definitely unitedunder the Canadian flag with Chris Spring, Graeme Rinholm, Bill Thomas and Tim Randall in all of their thoughts for a speedy recovery.
“It was pretty amazing to have the rest of the bobsleigh team come to our race today,” said Hollingsworth, whose finished moved her into the overall World Cup lead and will wear the yellow bib next week when the circuit travels to Konigssee, Germany. “It made me realize how grateful I am to slide and represent my country with incredible teammates.”
Two other Canadians joined Hollingsworth in the race. Amy Gough, of Abbotsford, B.C.,finished in seventh spot with a time of 1:00.34, while Calgary’s Sarah Reid cracked the top-15, placing 14th at 1:01.72.
Germany grabbed the top-two spots on the podium. Anja Huber was first at 59.87, while Katharina Heinz was second at 59.97. Shelley Rudman, of Great Britain, grabbed third place with a time of 59.99.
Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton is a non-profit organization and the national governing body for the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of its valued corporate partners – VISA, Dow Chemical, Adidas, KBC Helmets, Eurotech – Viking Engineering, SAIT Polytechnic, Therapeutica – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.