Biography:

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 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 UCI World Cup debut as a track cyclist in Hong Kong in January 2016, winning team pursuit gold. She went on to win team pursuit silver at the 2016 UCI World Championships. Immediately after Rio 2016, Simmerling resumed her ski cross training and returned to the FIS World Cup circuit. She posted two podium finishes in 2016-17, bringing her career ski cross total to seven, and advanced to the Small Final at the 2017 FIS World Championships. Simmerling has been no stranger to injury throughout her career. She had been leading the 2010-11 Nor-Am Cup downhill standings when she crashed in the final race of the season, sustaining a concussion and MCL damage in both knees.

In the spring of 2011 she decided she was ready for a new challenge and after proving her potential during summer training camps, she earned a spot on the national ski cross team. She quickly discovered that ski cross could be just as dangerous as alpine skiing. In February 2012 she caught an edge during a race and fell, breaking three vertebrae (C7, T2 and T3) in her neck and back. She was in an upper body and neck brace for seven weeks but did not require surgery. She returned to competition in December 2012 and earned her the first World Cup podium of her career later in the month. Simmerling competed at her first ski cross world championships in2013.

Personal

Getting into the Sport: Started skiing at age six… Her older brothers were all in the Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club and her parents had a vision of the entire family skiing together… Began doing ski cross at age 22… 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… 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!