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By James Bennett firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted Jul 16, 2017 at 12:39 PM
If you’ve been following The Daily Herald’s coverage of Megan Ski Hollingsworth since October, you already know she’s Miss Tennessee Teen USA.
You know she’s the first teenager from southern Middle Tennessee since Columbia’s Lynnette Cole in 1995 to win the coveted title.
You know she graduated from Columbia State Community College and Marshall County High School simultaneously, one of a handful of students (Columbia State says less than five) since dual enrollment started 20 years ago to achieve the feat.
You know she was Marshall County High’s homecoming queen and Miss Marshall County in 2016.
You know she’s been focused on winning every day, working out and practicing interview questions to have her body and mind in shape for the Miss Teen USA pageant.
You know she would have to commute to New York at least once a month if she wins Miss Teen USA.
You know the Miss Teen USA pageant is July 28-29 in Phoenix, where temperatures will be in the 100s night and day.
The excitement was building Saturday at a sendoff party for the blue-eyed blonde, so we decided to find out a little more about the daughter of Lewisburg’s Gary and Christy Hollingsworth.
Here’s five things you DON’T know about Megan Ski Hollingsworth ... five days before she boards her flight from Nashville for Phoenix:
1. She’s nuts
Spread out in her Lewisburg home, Hollingsworth has been collecting nutcrackers for about two years.
The wood carvings of soldiers, knights, kings and other characters all have their own unique design, she said.
“I received one for Christmas one year and fell in love with them,” she said. “I like how they’re each unique, like people in the world. They each have their own look.”
Comment: Kind of like Miss Teen USA contestants.
2. She’s a roller-coaster fanatic
Although she’s only been to two theme parks, Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind., and Six Flags Over Georgia in Atlanta, Hollingsworth rode The Raven at Holiday World nine consecutive times with her friend, Annie Haynes.
“I started to like the little ones at carnivals and fairs near my hometown,” Hollingsworth said.
Hollingsworth was 13 and Haynes was 12 when they went to Holiday World — barely tall enough to ride the wooden roller coaster.
The Raven, built in 1994, was chosen as the “world’s best wooden roller coaster” by readers of Amusement Today at the industry’s Golden Ticket Awards (2000-2003).
“We weren’t scared, and we didn’t get sick,” Hollingsworth said. “We just kept wanting to ride more.”
Comment: She’ll probably have plenty of invitations to ride if she wins Miss Teen USA.
3. She’s terrified of elevators
The ups and downs of roller coasters don’t bother Hollingsworth. But elevators sure do.
“When I was younger, I was shopping at the mall with my parents,” Hollingsworth explained. “We were inside of the elevator, and I got my arm stuck inside the railing in the elevator. When the doors opened, my parents got out of the elevator and left me in there by myself.
“I yanked my arm out quickly,” she added. “It caused scratches all over my arm. That experience made me terrified.”
Comment: I didn’t have the heart to tell her the Phoenix Grand Sheraton Hotel, where she’ll be staying for Miss Teen USA, is the tallest hotel in Arizona with 31 floors.
4. She was on the cover of a magazine
At age 3, Hollingsworth won a toddler pageant. One of the prizes was to appear on the cover of Nashville Parent.
Christy Hollingsworth drove Megan Ski from Lewisburg to Nashville for a pageant called Cover Kids.
To this day — 15 years later — Christy has a framed copy of the magazine in her bedroom.
“I had my hair all curly and white fur all around me,” Megan Ski said. “You could only see my head and the white fur.”
Comment: Nashville Parent was a good place to start.
5. She advocates for organ transplants
Hollingsworth’s childhood friend, Katie Davenport, had a heart transplant in the third grade.
“She got the heart on time, and she’s healthy. She graduated with me this year [from Marshall County High School], and she’s going to college,” she said.
Davenport’s experience had a lasting impression.
“She’s with us because of the transplant, and I can tell people first hand how important it is for them to be an organ donor on their driver’s license.
Comment: Hollingsworth also volunteers at a senior center in Lewisburg. She says she wants to manage a senior center after college graduation. We’ll see if her brush with fame as Miss Tennessee Teen USA and possibly Miss Teen USA changes her mind.
Saturday’s sendoff included a visit from Miss Tennessee USA Allee-Sutton Hethcoat, who said, “I’m so excited for you. But you’re ready.”
No truer words have ever been spoken about Hollingsworth. She’s been entering pageants since childhood, thanks to her parents’ support.
“I’m not nervous. I have prepped for so long that I am just ready.”
James Bennett is editor of The Daily Herald. Contact him at email@example.com
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