Canada’s Mellisa Hollingsworth Fights through Adversity to Win Bronze Medal at Skeleton World Cup in Austria
January 14, 2011
IGLS, Aut.—Canada’s Mellisa Hollingsworthfound herself back in familiar territory standing on the World Cup podium afterfinishing third at a skeleton World Cup race in Igls, Austria on Friday.
The30-year-old Hollingsworth battled through a nagging foot injury that hasplagued her through the post-Olympic season to win the 25th medal of hercareer. The two-time Overall World Cup champion from Eckville, Alta. clocked atwo-run bronze-medal winning time of one minute, 51.45 seconds.
“I washappy with that because I have been so inconsistent this year,” saidHollingsworth, who has struggled to maintain her spot in the medal positionafter the first run in recent World Cups. “That is the game – trying to beconsistent. You are never going to be perfect, but we continue to work to makefewer mistakes and have as clean of a run as possible. Today was better and I’mhappy for sure.”
Hollingsworthwas joined on the podium by Germany’s Anja Huber, who captured the first skeletongold medal of 2011 after setting the time to beat at 1:51.10. Shelley Rudman,of Great Britain claimed the silver at 1:51.27.
Despite abruised foot which has hampered Hollingsworth’s quest to defend her overallWorld Cup title, the 2006 Olympic bronze medallist finished second in theseason-opener in Whistler, B.C., and threatened the podium in each of her nextthree races in Calgary, Park City and Lake Placid.
“It istough to be motivated and excited when you’re in pain. It becomes a big mindgame,” said Hollingsworth, who made a breakthrough this week when she wasfinally able to lift weights with her teammates in training. “The frustratingpart is knowing your potential, but you are held back with the injury. Duff(Gibson – head coach) keeps telling me long-term this is exciting because of myresults given what I’ve had to deal with, but as athletes we constantly want topush ourselves and reach our goals.”
AnotherCanadian is certainly surpassing her goals while racing against the topskeleton athletes in the world. Calgary’s Darla Deschamps, who racked up fourpodium finishes on the Intercontinental Cup circuit prior to the holiday break,was called up to the big show. The 29-year-old had a stellar World Cup debut,placing fifth with a time of 1:51.88.
Olympian,Amy Gough of Abbotsford, B.C., posted the final Canadian sled in the top-10after finishing eighth at 1:52.33.
Theworld’s best women’s bobsleigh athletes hit the Igls track following theskeleton race.
Calgary’sHelen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown, of Pickering, Ont., narrowly missed the podiumwith a fourth-place result. The Canadian duo and Olympic silver medallists, whowere flying in training all week, posted a combined time of 1:48.71 in theCanada 2 sled.
Igls alsomarked the return of Canada’s Olympic gold medal-winning teammates, KaillieHumphries of Calgary, and Heather Moyse, of Summerside, P.E.I. With Moysemaking her season debut after recovering from a leg injury sustained whilecompeting for Canada at the World Cup of rugby following the Olympics, theCanada 1 sled finished eighth at 1:49.00.
ShaunaRohbock and Valerie Fleming, of the United States, won the women’s bobsleighrace with a time of 1:48.50. Anja Scheiderheinze and Christin Senkel slid ontothe silver-medal position of the podium in the Germany 3 sled at 1:48.59, whileSwitzerland’s Fabienne Meyer and Hanne Schenke were third (1:48.70).
The WorldCup continues on Saturday in Igls, Austria with men’s skeleton and two-manbobsleigh action.
BobsleighCANADA Skeleton is a non-profit organization and the national governing bodyfor the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of itsvalued corporate partners - VISA, Dow Chemical, Adidas, Schenker Canada - alongwith the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium,Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit usat www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca
Complete Results: www.fibt.com
Top-Five Women’s Skeleton Results:
1.AnjaHuber, GER, 1:51.10; 2. Shelley Rudman, GBR, 1:51.27; 3. Mellisa Hollingsworth,Eckville, Alta., CAN, 1:51.45; 4. Olga Potelitcina, RUS, 1:51.74; 5. DarlaDeschamps, Calgary, CAN, 1:51.88.
8.Amy Gough, Abbotsford, B.C., 1:52.33
Top-Five Women’s Bobsleigh Results:
1.ShaunaRohbock/Valerie Fleming, USA 1, 1:48.50; 2. Anja Scheiderheinze/ChristinSenkel, GER 3, 1:48.59; 3. Fabienne Meyer/Hanne Schenke, SUI 1, 1:48.70; 4.Helen Upperton, Calgary/Shelley-Ann Brown, Pickering, Ont., 1:48.71; 5. SabinaHufner/Liudmila Udobkina, SUI 2, 1:48.80.
8.Kaillie Humphries, Calgary/Heather Moyse, Summerside, P.E.I., 1:49.00