Melissa Lotholz always had an appetite for bobsleigh. As a three-year-old, she dragged a metal toboggan to the top of a two-metre high slide made by her father and slid down some packed snow into the garden. But it wasn’t a sport she could pursue right away, instead becoming a varsity track and field athlete at the University of Alberta.

After the 2013-14 season, she began training specifically for bobsleigh, having impressed recruiters with her dryland testing at a talent identification camp the year prior. She moved to Calgary and within a few months earned a spot as the brakeman for two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries. She made her international debut in a North American Cup race in November 2014 before making her World Cup debut in Lake Placid just a month later. As a rookie, Lotholz stood on three World Cup podiums.

In 2015-16 she and Humphries reached the podium in all eight World Cup races, winning gold at four of them to claim the overall World Cup title. They also captured silver together at the world championships in Igls, Austria. Lotholz began the 2016-17 season pushing for Alysia Rissling but returned to Humphries’ sled in January and won three more World Cup medals before claiming a second straight world championship silver. Lotholz stood on the podium with Humphries at the first three World Cups of 2017-18, winning two of them. She finished seventh in her Olympic debut at PyeongChang 2018 with pilot Christine de Bruin.

A little more about Melissa

Getting into the Sport: Introduced to bobsleigh by track and field teammate Christine de Bruin who had decided to try it in 2011 at the suggestion of their varsity coach… Attended her first bobsleigh talent identification camp in January 2013 while in her second year at the University of Alberta… Outside Interests: Earned a certificate in music and worship studies at Vanguard Bible College in Edmonton before studying Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Alberta… Intends to finish her degree after her bobsleigh career… Was heavily involved with the Athletes in Action campus ministry… Enjoys exploring her creative side through drawing, colouring books, singing along to music, playing piano, journaling… Odds and Ends: Grew up on a family farm that her great-grandfather homesteaded more than 80 years ago… In a different life would be a pianist in an orchestra that plays scores for movies…