Hollingsworth makes skeletons sexy

Denied a medal, skeleton racer Mellisa Hollingsworth is still first in the books of those asked who they think were the sexiest athletes competing in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Central Alberta’s Mellisa Hollingsworth was voted by an online dating service as the sexist athlete at the Vancouver Olympics.

Central Alberta’s Mellisa Hollingsworth was voted by an online dating service as the sexist athlete at the Vancouver Olympics.

Denied a medal, skeleton racer Mellisa Hollingsworth is still first in the books of those asked who they think were the sexiest athletes competing in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Forty-seven per cent of males asked in a poll by Lavalife, an online dating service, named the country sweetheart from the hills northwest of Eckville as the Vancouver Games’ sexiest female athlete, putting Hollingsworth well ahead of American skier Lindsey Vonn, who got 41 per cent of their votes.

Another poll put Hollingsworth in third place while yet another placed her 15th.

Hollingsworth, 29, and her dad are taking it all with a sense of humour.

“I take it as a compliment,” Darcy Hollingsworth said this week.

“I’ve always thought she was beautiful inside and out. I’m just glad everyone else can see her for that, too,” he said.

Mellisa said her friends from school have probably been howling with laughter at the polls and their results.

“You know, the first I heard of that was yesterday,” she said.

“It’s sort of a shock to me, I guess. I’m sure many of my friends would kill themselves laughing. They saw me as an ugly duckling, with the big permed hair and big glasses and all that stuff.

“Definitely, it’s a big compliment. Overall, I think everybody has been very generous with their support.”

Oh, and yes, formerly married, Hollingsworth is single and not currently dating anyone.

She is now taking a break from training to heal up from the Olympics, but that doesn’t mean she’s idling on the sidelines.

Raised on a farm north of Leslieville and now living in Calgary, she will fill her time with speaking engagements for the next few weeks, including laying plans for an official visit and post-Olympic celebration somewhere close to home in the near future.

“I would like to think that a lot of the community in Central Alberta would be interested in hearing my story and sharing my Olympic experience, so I would like to make it a little bigger than what it was in 2006.”

Hollingsworth said her journey over the last 15 years has shown her that the road to the podium involves the entire community.

“Millions of people watched my heartbreak. The support that people have given to me, it’s sort of made me look at the big picture and change my perspective completely. I’m really excited if I get the opportunity to share my whole story with the rest of Canada,” she said.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com