Georgia Simmerling suffered a crash in the semifinals of the ski cross World Cup in Nakiska, Alta. on Sunday which resulted in broken bones in both her legs. The 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the women’s team pursuit in Rio underwent surgery in Calgary on a fibula fracture in her left leg and a tibia plateau fracture to her right leg as first reported by CBC.
A medal hopeful in Pyeongchang, Simmerling had transitioned back to ski cross after focusing on track heading into the 2016 Summer Games. She is scheduled to join Sho Air-Twenty20 in 2018 as she transitions back to cycling for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The severe injury will require weeks of healing and the end to her 2018 winter Olympic aspirations. She had a rod and screws inserted into her legs to help the healing but at this time it is unclear what the repercussions will be for her 2018 cycling campaign. The crash happened after cresting a hill on the ski cross track. She lost balance as she held second place in the heat only to wobble and crash out taking the skier in first out in the process.
Simmerling, who was ranked fourth overall in the world, is the only Canadia to compete at three different Olympic Games in three different events. She competed at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver in alpine skiing, the 2014 Olympics in Sochi in ski cross, then transitioned to track cycling for the 2016 Olympics.
“I was having a pretty solid season so far,” Simmerling told the CBC. “I was really focusing on my technical cues during each race prep in order to perform at my best, be my best self, as opposed to the outcome of each race and the results.”
The injury happened just under three weeks out from the opening ceremony for the 2018 Games. “You know injuries are a part of ski cross and it’s hard to avoid them. Unfortunately, I got injured at a pretty disappointing time in my season, right before the Games,” she reflected. “I’m already wrapping my head around rehab, and going to tackle that like I take on anything: determined, with a little stubbornness and a lot of positivity.”