By Terri Mason, Editor, Canadian Cowboy Country magazine
I’ve long been fascinated with how the West is connected, and perhaps the most interesting connections reach from the hilly terrain of the Moose Mountain country deep in southeast Saskatchewan, to the buck brush covered foothills of Eckville in Central Alberta, to the most famous last name in rodeo — and all the way to Sochi, Russia.
Olympian Melissa Hollingsworth (born Oct 4, 1980) in Lacombe, Alta., is an Olympic Bronze Medallist (2006-Turin), Canadian Champion and Overall World Cup Champion in Skeleton event. She is competing in Sochi.
Melissa’s dad is Darcy Hollingsworth, a rodeo stock breeder. The 2012 Canadian Saddle Bronc of the Year – Pedro – was raised by Darcy Hollingsworth.
Olympian Paige Lawrence (born Feb 22, 1990) in Kennedy, Sask., is a Canadian pair skater. With partner Rudi Swiegers, she is the 2011 Four Continents bronze medalist and a four-time Canadian national bronze medalist (2011–2014). They are competing in Sochi.
Paige’s dad is Jimmy Lawrence, a rodeo stock contractor (Prime Time Rodeo) and bucking horse breeder. The 2013 Canadian Bareback Horse of the Year — True Grit –– carries Jimmy Lawrence’s bloodlines.
Now comes the fifth ring in the Olympic connections; stock contractor Wayne Vold of Vold Rodeo, DeWinton, Alta. Wayne was one of the stock contractors at the Rodeo ’88 Challenge Cup (affectionately known as the Olympic Rodeo) that was held during the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. So what is the connection to the other Olympians? Wayne Vold is the owner of Pedro and True Grit.