Georgia Simmerling made history at Rio 2016 by becoming the first Canadian athlete to compete in a different sport at each of three different Olympic Games. Competing in track cycling’s team pursuit, she helped Canada win its second straight Olympic bronze medal in the event alongside Allison Beveridge, Jasmin Glaesser, Kirsti Lay and Laura Brown for her first Olympic podium finish. Simmerling made her Olympic debut in alpine skiing at Vancouver 2010 before switching over to the “dark side” of ski racing in 2011 to compete in ski cross, in which she advanced to the 1/8 finals at Sochi 2014. But after breaking her wrist at the world championships in late January 2015, she decided to start her summer Olympic journey. Simmerling had already done a couple of camps with the track cycling development program and knew that she would be a better fit for endurance racing than sprint racing. With plates and screws in her wrist, she started training on her bike within a week of undergoing surgery. She made her World Cup debut as a track cyclist in Hong Kong in January 2016, winning team pursuit gold alongside Glaesser, Brown and Steph Roorda. She went on to win team pursuit silver at the 2016 UCI World Championships with Beveridge, Glaesser and Lay. As a ski cross racer, Simmerling had stood on five World Cup podiums. She is also no stranger to injury, having sustained a concussion and MCL damage in both knees late in the 2010-11 alpine skiing season. In February 2012 she caught an edge during a ski cross race and fell, breaking three vertebrae (C7, T2, T3) in her neck and back. She was in an upper body and neck brace for seven weeks but did not require surgery. Almost immediately after winning bronze in Rio, Simmerling resumed her ski cross training.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Karl and Carol Simmerling… Older brothers Christian, Boyd and Julian… Christian used to play for the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders… Julian played football for the University of Calgary Dinos… Getting into the Sport: First rode a track bike on a velodrome in June 2014 at a Cycling Canada talent ID camp in Los Angeles… In November 2015 was accepted into Canada’s elite pool of track cyclists after a two-week stint with the development team… Had started alpine skiing at age six before switching to ski cross at age 22… Outside Interests: Enjoys yoga, knitting, reading, cooking, eating new foods… Always travels with her latest knitting project… Supports charities Right to Play and Fast & Female… Visited Tanzania in 2013 with Right to Play… Odds and Ends:  Favourite Olympic memory is hearing the crowd cheer for her and the entire Canadian team during the Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremony and throughout the Games… Favourite motto: Competitive edge, baby!