Calgary, Alta. (September 29, 2016) – West Vancouver, B.C.’s Georgia Simmerling is back on snow after capturing Olympic bronze less than two months ago with Cycling Canada. Simmerling has joined her Canada Ski Cross teammates and is now prepping for the 2016-17 competition season, which includes a World Championship stop in Sierra Nevada, Spain. And with less than 500 days until the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, Simmerling is busy crushing training goals to be in top shape to make her a contender for another Olympic medal.
In between training runs, parking lot workouts, hiking summits and team bonding, we caught up with the five-time Ski Cross World Cup podium-finisher to find out what it’s like to be out of the saddle and back on skis:
Besides some really sore feet, it feels really good to be back on snow! It's been over a year and half since I've been on my skis and I was definitely pretty nervous getting back on snow. It’s surprisingly coming back pretty quickly and I’m excited to keep pushing forward.
Despite less than ideal weather, we ended up getting in four solid days of skiing in Saas Fee, Switzerland and they were great. We are now in Stelvio, Italy for our next training block. The weather and snow are both awesome, and we're doing a lot of skiing. We're staying right up at the mountain at 3,500 metres, which makes for an easy commute.
Getting back into skiing I thought I’d struggle with sore muscles that I didn’t use as aggressively in cycling. I thought my lower back and my arms would be physically exhausted but my body is adapting back to skiing very quickly. I will admit my traps have been super sore from carrying my backpack and my skis to and from the hill, but I can't complain about that too loudly because then my teammates, Dunc [Dave Duncan] and Brady [Leman] will chirp me for days...
Syncing back up with the Canada Ski Cross Team has been great but I’ve had a few difficult days. My teammates are fast, and so are the rest of the athletes on the FIS World Cup Ski Cross tour. I've missed a season and playing catch up can be mentally tough sometimes. I know I'll get back to where I was as a ski cross racer before I took a hiatus to commit to cycling but It's just a matter of trusting in the process, persevering and finding patience. So far, I’m stoked on the progress I’ve made and I have confidence I’ll be ready by the time the World cup season rolls around.