All is normal about four-time Olympian Georgia Simerling’s career, but who would expect anything less from her in retirement? Less than two weeks into retirement, the BC native announced she was launching AG Sports Inc., a women-focused sports agency.
Simerling made history in 2016 when she became the first Canadian athlete to compete in three different Olympic Games in three different sports. She has represented Canada in alpine skiing, ski cross and track cycling and later won a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Games. Simerling’s final Olympic appearance as an athlete was at the Tokyo Games where she was only seconds away from securing another bronze medal on the bike.
Why did you want to launch AG Sports Inc.?
Georgia Simerling: I knew before leaving my career and announcing my retirement that I needed to find my passion and my life’s purpose after sports. I knew I always wanted to get into the business side of the game, but in what area? I’m definitely not the athlete who’s going to take a year or two off. It was scary for me to even think about it, and at the same time, I realized this understanding and the fact that I have yet to work a 30- or 40-hour work week for someone else or for an older person. was not ready. company. Having said that, I’m definitely spending those hours working for myself, but I feel like I’ve decided on my own time and started my own business, which is a sports agency.
AG Sports has come to life and I am thrilled about it. I really think there is a huge space for a female presence in the agency world in Canada. I’m thrilled to jump into that world and have already signed seven athletes, all women, including multiple Olympic medalists from the past two Olympics. I just can’t wait to go to work.
This is exciting news and a big step forward for female athlete representation in Canada. Who are some of the names on your roster?
We already have a good roster. We have: Blair Turnbull is a young veteran in the Canadian women’s hockey team, Maddie Price, Amy Fraser, Amelia Smart and Olympic medalist Kasia Gruchalla-Wesiersky, Katie Vincent, Laurian Genest. I am very excited to work with the athletes. I am going to try to make a difference in this sport, in this country and I think the time to do that is now more than ever. If the last two US Open finals and women’s gold medal soccer games in Tokyo haven’t told us already, it’s time to invest in women’s sports. It is an exciting time for female athletes in this country.
Your social media was flooded with positive messages when you announced your retirement from competition. What was it like for you to make the announcement and then read all the messages of support?
I read all the messages! I read every single one of them and it was overwhelming. I woke up the next morning to a bit of emptiness because I had just announced my retirement and it was just an emotional toll of positivity. it rocks. It really is awesome. I mean, I just try to make my country proud and I’m so lucky to have represented Canada for so long and in so many different sports. I am really grateful that I have got opportunities and experiences as an athlete.
When did you know that Tokyo was going to be your last Olympics as an athlete?
I have known for some time that I want to retire after Tokyo. I knew I wanted to retire after the Games even before the postponement happened. I am really lucky and grateful that I knew I wanted to retire and that I am retiring on my own terms. I am very excited about what will happen next. And I am grateful that I am in a position to happily announce my retirement. I know a lot of athletes who are not in that position when they retire and I think it can be really challenging for them. I feel like I am in the best possible place in my life to announce my retirement and move on. I am so excited to have it.
You’re on a new adventure with your fiancé (PSG goalkeeper Stephanie Labe, who just captured Olympic gold with the Canadian women’s soccer team in Tokyo). You are going to Paris!
Yes, Stef has just signed with one of the top football clubs in the world, PSG, and she is doing great there. He is excited about his season with the club but his only caveat to moving to France was that I should go to France with him, so we are excited to settle in.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.