Gustavo Garcia - Friday Feb. 14, 2014 23:00 ET

Mellisa Hollingsworth’s skeleton career ends in Sochi: Newsmaker of Day 7

Veteran finishes 11th in women’s event

Mellisa Hollingsworth wearing her dad's cowboy hat after her last skeleton run
Mellisa Hollingsworth wearing her dad's cowboy hat after her last run in the women's skeleton at Sliding Center Sanki on February 14, 2014 in Sochi. (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

One of the greatest skeleton athletes in the history of the sport said goodbye on Friday.

Canadian Mellisa Hollingsworth hung up the sled after her final run at the Sanki Sliding Center in Sochi, and she went out with a bang.

Subpar performances during the first two runs knocked the veteran out of medal contention on Thursday, and she was sitting in the 16th place after her third try.

However, the disappointing races didn’t stop her from showing the world she can still compete with the best women in the discipline.

Hollingsworth, who’s been hurtling down skeleton tracks for 19 years, clocked the second-best time in the final run – behind only gold medal winner Elizabeth Yarnold of Great Britain – and finished 11th overall.

It was over. She knew, her fans knew it, and also did her dad Darcy.

She got off her sled and was received by her father, who met her at the finish line and gave her his cowboy hat while an emotional cheer took over.

Impressive career 

The Eckville, Alta., native became the first athlete in history to get a podium at every single World Cup event while competing in the 2005-06 season.

Hollingsworth won bronze at the Turin 2006 Games; four years later she left the track in tears after a costly mistake in Vancouver that pushed her off the podium after sitting in second place heading into the final run.

The 33-year-old leaves as the most decorated athlete in the sport and passes the sled to teammate Sarah Reid.

Reid finished 7th overall in her Olympic debut. The Calgarian seems ready to take over as the Canadian leader in women's skeleton.

As for Hollingsworth, she has her hands full already with her new passion: horses and rodeo.

And guess what? She's very good at it too. 

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