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.”

Just Posted

Ride to Conquer Cancer cancels but Red Deerian keeps going

Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer was cancelled due to smoke

Red Deer woman saving animals at wildlife centre with TV show

Victoria Bolhuis, 22, interned at Hope for Wildlife for 10 weeks before moving into paid position

Record-breaking year in Red Deer for smoke

Expect more smoke in Red Deer Wednesday

Mustard Seed prepares people for workforce

Employment Readiness Fair to be held August 28

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Media

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending programs

OTTAWA — The minister in charge of Canada’s latest national plan to… Continue reading

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month