In spring 2016 we shared a story about Georgia Simmerling, Canadian Olympic super-athlete vying for a spot on the track cycling team in Rio. Simmerling cracked the roster and helped Canada win a bronze medal in women’s team pursuit and became the first Canadian to compete at three different Olympics (Vancouver, Sochi, Rio) in three different sports (alpine skiing, ski cross, track cycling). If that isn’t an advertisement for physical literacy, I don’t know what is.
In fact, she recently demonstrated her physical literacy skills in the gym with fellow Canadian and pro-snowboarder Craig McMorris.
To better understand Simmerling’s zig-zag through athletics, David Ebner at the Globe and Mail outlined her history of competition, as well as where she’s headed next.
Currently, Simmerling is back to her second sport, competing in World Cup races and working towards a new goal: medaling in ski cross at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea (the picture above, from Georgia’s website, is of a ski cross race at Val Thorens in 2014).
In a sport she describes in her personal blog as “really not normal,” Simmerling credits chasing after her older brothers during an adventurous childhood for the ability to switch activities so quickly.
As she builds momentum in ski cross, Simmerling is already thinking ahead to her return to the bike after next winter. She wants to ride in the 2020 Summer Olympics, and others believe she could ride beyond that. Clara Hughes, fellow Canadian and dual-sport Olympic athlete, recognizes some of herself in Simmerling. “Georgia is doing what she’s doing because she can’t not do it – and that’s how I felt,” Hughes is quoted as saying.
Both Simmerling and Hughes represent what a foundation in physical literacy can offer: the confidence to try.