As an athlete, Georgia Simmerling has represented Canada on ski and bike trails around the world.
Now fresh from her retirement after Tokyo 2020, the four-time Olympian is set to represent some of Canada’s most promising female athletes as they fight for their own athletic success.
Last week, Simmerling announced the launch of its next company, AG Sports Inc. – a Canadian sports and marketing agency run by women and focused on women.
âEach athlete has their own story, their own future, their own path and they are the ones who create that,â said Simmerling, 32. âI’m here to uplift it, to help them kind of nurture it and really bring their brands to life through partnerships with the right partner in their community.
Over the past decade, Simmerling has competed in both the Winter and Summer Games as one of the few Canadian women to compete in both. In 2016, after competing in downhill skiing in Vancouver 2010 and freestyle skiing in Sochi 2014, the West Vancouver native became the first Canadian to compete in a different sport at three different Olympics. That year, in Rio, she won bronze in the women’s track cycling team pursuit. Last summer in Tokyo, she helped Canada finish fourth in the same event.
Even before the Tokyo Games were postponed last year, Simmerling knew this fourth Olympic appearance would be his last. And with the extra year of training due to the postponement of the 2020 Games, she began to lay the groundwork for what was to follow. She knew she wanted to stay in the sports world and that the business side of athletics was an area she most wanted to pursue. Her curiosity drove her to explore ideas in marketing, branding partnerships and athlete representation.
âI think the opportunity has presented itself, having established links with companies, sponsors, communities across the country, it is one of my passions. I’ve always loved doing that, and it really gave me meaning to my purpose, to be an athlete, âshe said. âThis idea of ââcreating my own agency seemed right to me. It was really good.”
As Simmerling prepared for the transition from athlete to agent, she saw the need for female representation in the industry.
“As you step into the agency world in Canada, there’s a huge space for female representation and I’m very excited to disrupt the market a bit, if you will, and be a leader.”
To recognize the incredible impact female athletes have on the world of sport, all you have to do is open your eyes. In the past two months alone, women, especially Canadian women, have captivated sports fans with their incredible success. Take Tokyo, for example: of the 24 medals Canada won there, 18 were won by women, including the top 13.
And as the numbers show, there is a huge appetite to tune in.
With 4.4 million viewers, Team Canada‘s victory in women’s soccer in Tokyo was Canada’s most-watched Olympic event. A month later, on the hard courts of the US Open, Canada’s Leylah Fernandez and Britain’s Emma Raducanu drew a larger audience than the men’s final.
âThe facts have shown that we watch women’s sports. We care, âSimmerling said.
She has already signed a list of talented athletes that she is about to represent. Among them is new world champion Blayre Turnbull of Canada’s women’s hockey team; Olympic gold medalist in the women’s eight in rowing, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski; Olympic bronze medalist in canoe sprint, Katie Vincent; track cyclist Keirin and Olympic bronze medalist Lauriane Genest; track star Maddy Price, who just set a new team record with the Canadian women’s 4×400-meter relay in Tokyo; and skiers Amy Fraser (halfpipe specialist) and slalomist Amelia Smart, who turned heads after a dominant tour of the NCAA Tour.
âI’m excited to challenge businesses to really get started and invest because the opportunity is there. And it’s not just for the athletes, âcontinued Simmerling. “Now is the time to invest in women’s sport.”
Through her own personal experience as an athlete, the skier-turned-cyclist understands the importance of building a team around her – a team not only of fellow athletes, but of brands and business partners who have believed in her and propelled her to success on the podium. as an athlete and on his platform as a public figure.
âI think the sponsors that I have established a relationship with, they’ve been supporting me for several years now and I treasure those relationshipsâ¦ It gives you so much confidence knowing that you have support,â she said. “I just hope I can create something like this for my athletes.”