Saturday, November 12, 2005
Steamboat Springs Erin Simmons can clear her February calendar.
The Canadian boardercross racer and member of the Steamboat Ski Area's Mavericks Freeride Team has been named to the Canadian Olympic Team.
Simmons will represent Canada in boardercross, an honor she expected because she's the third-ranked racer in her home country.
"It's definitely big news," Simmons said.
Tom McIllfaterick, director of the Canadian Snowboard Federation, sent Simmons and her future Olympic teammates Dominique Maltais and Maelle Ricker a congratulatory e-mail Oct. 26.
"I smiled when I read it," said Simmons, who captured a silver medal in the ESPN X Games boardercross event earlier this year in Aspen. "(Until) that point, no one had said, 'You have a safe spot.'"
Simmons will compete in the women's boardercross event Feb. 17 in Bardonecchia, Italy.
Boardercross essentially is a downhill race over berms and around corners. The first racer across the finish line advances to the next round to race again until one winner is decided.
Simmons, who was raised in British Columbia, lives and trains in Steamboat.
Simmons said she will stay in the Olympic Village during the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. But she plans to compete in several events before making her way to Italy.
Next month, she heads to Whistler, British Columbia, for two World Cup races. In January, she heads to Austria before returning to Aspen for the X Games.
February marks the Olympic Games, after which she will end her season in Japan.
"My biggest goal is to now win Olympic gold," Simmons said.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com