Date of Birth:  October 4, 1980
 Place of Birth: Eckville, AB
 Residence: Calgary, AB
 Years on National Team:
 10
 Height:  5'7"
 Weight: 134 lbs.

When Melissa Hollingsworth walked down the aisle last summer, marrying bronco rider Billy Richards, she finally realized it was time to stop playing it safe in both her personal and professional life.

After beginning her skeleton career as a fresh-faced teenager in 1996, Hollingsworth-Richards regularly finished in the Top-10 over her first four years of racing, culminating with a silver medal at the 2000 World Championships. Unfortunately, the following years would prove to be discouraging as her results worsened, while other racers came along and took the spotlight. Over the past three seasons in particular, Hollingsworth-Richards has stepped onto the podium just three times.

That's why when the 2005-06 season began, and with two berths to the Turin Olympics available, the longest serving member of the women's skeleton team decided it was time to go for it. Her new attitude was clearly on display early in the 2005-06 season, when in a World Cup race in Calgary, she finished the latter part of the race blind due to her hood slipping over her eyes. Not being able to see made little difference as she amazingly won, picking up her first-career gold. She would go on to win another gold and three silver medals in the following months.

After failing to qualify for the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, the 10-year veteran comes to Turin on a serious hot streak and has to be considered one of Canada's best bets to win gold.


Related Headlines:
February 26: McBean talk motivates medallists
February 17: 'I thought it was over'
February 17: Bronze baby!
February 16: No bones about it ...
February 9: SUN Prediction: Gold Medal
February 1: Ridin' and slidin'

2006 Skeleton Coverage