Two years ago, Canada’s Georgia Simmerling saw her dream of attending her fourth Olympic Games disappear in an instant. In the last Ski Cross World Cup race before the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Simmerling crashed in the semi-finals, suffering catastrophic injuries. In a split second, Simmerling broke both of her legs and extensively injured her left knee.
No stranger to injury and rehabilitation, Simmerling immediately switched her focus from the 2018 Winter Olympics to the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan. Only 2 years after that devastating crash, Simmerling has her sights set on an Olympic podium once again.
Simmerling first made the jump to cycling in 2014, and in 2016 became the first Canadian to compete in different sports at three separate Olympics. Last weekend, in her first major event since returning to Cycling Canada, Simmerling added multiple records to her resume at the Pan American Track Championships, held in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
“It feels amazing to have started our Olympic year on this note. We broke our Canadian record in our qualifying ride and again in our gold medal final ride. We have set the bar high for the year and I know we will keep raising it!” said Simmerling of their gold medal in the team pursuit.
Always known as an overachiever, Simmerling didn’t stop with the team pursuit. After riding well in the team event, Georgia and her coach decided she should take a stab at the individual pursuit event.
“I hadn’t ridden an IP in about 3.5 years, so my confidence was fairly neutral going into the event. I had no expectations,” she said.
Neutral confidence and no expectations worked out well for Simmerling, as she won the event, set a new National & Pan Am record and clocked the second fastest time recorded in history for Women’s individual pursuit.
“To say I was proud, surprised, stoked, all of the above, is an understatement,” Simmerling added. “It really shows the hard work I’ve put into the last year and a half to build my body back, and it really paid off”.
Alpine Canada wishes Georgia and her team all the best as they pedal towards Tokyo 2020. For more information about Georgia, her team and Cycling Canada visit https://www.cyclingcanada.ca/.
Release courtesy of Alpine Canada.