Eckville rallies for hometown Olympian Mellisa Hollingsworth in CTV taping

hey were dressed in red T-shirts, hoodies and mitts, carrying signs that read Go Mellisa go! and Rock On Mellisa!

Some of about 1

They were dressed in red T-shirts, hoodies and mitts, carrying signs that read Go Mellisa go! and Rock On Mellisa!

Hundreds of people lined Eckford Street in Eckville for a television shoot to honour hometown hero Mellisa Hollingsworth.

The Olympic skeleton bronze medalist grew up on a ranch just outside the community and will be competing in the upcoming winter Olympics in Vancouver in February.

The CTV television videotaping on Monday will be featured in the opening and will kick off the first day of the Olympics television coverage.

During the taping two lines of people — four or more deep — stood along the street waving flags and cheering.

Special effects will be added before it goes to air, with a fireball coming down along the main street.

Josh Shiaman, senior field producer for CTV, said you could only have this kind of support in a small town.

“I’ve never seen anything like this. The support that everyone has shown is simply stunning,” Shiaman said.

“I asked for 50 extras to come on the street and we’re just going to recreate a rally for (Mellisa Hollingsworth) and instead of 50 we got about a thousand people to just show up and show their support.”

People waved Canadian flags, cheered and chanted, “Go Mellisa go!”

Children from the elementary and high school were in attendance, as well as students from some of the surrounding schools, business owners and residents. Hollingsworth is currently training in New York.

Sharon Lemke, who is part of the Mellisa We Believe committee, which is supported by Eckville Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Eckville, said Hollingsworth is an incredible inspiration to the community, having attended the local schools as a child and returned as an adult to show them her medal.

“This is our way of saying Mellisa we believe,” Lemke said.

Lexi Sparrow, 10, and her friends Peyton Opsahl, 11, and Rylee Forhan, 11, were part of the enthusiastic crowd. The girls had made Canadian flags, attached to rulers, with “We believe. Go Mellisa” on the back.

“I am very supportive of her,” said Sparrow, who plans to watch the Olympics on TV. “I hope she wins.”

The rally also brought many of Hollingsworth’s relatives out, including her father Darcy Hollingsworth and her grandmothers Doreen Hollingsworth and Myrtle Patapoff, who were all dressed in red.

Darcy planned to phone his daughter on Monday night to tell her about the rally.

“She’ll be thrilled. It means a lot to her, the support, because they spend so much time by themselves, and away, and not knowing how people are behind them at home,” Darcy said. “So it will be nice for her.”

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

One strong wind leaves years of replanting work for Red Deer parks staff

High visibility boulevards already replanted, neighbourhood work starts next year

Red Deer-area indigenous filmmakers invited to apply for $20,000 grant

Storyhive launches Indigenous Storyteller Edition

Restaurant closed after compliance team patrol

Public Safety Compliance Team checked eight bars and restaurants on Oct. 19

Red Deerians await local cannabis stores

So far 31 stores in Alberta awarded licence to operate

Rimbey RCMP seek missing man with health concerns

Has anyone seen Bill Harris of Ponka County?

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read