At Just 20 years old, Red Deer’s Molly Simpson has made a habit of reeling in awards.
The BMX star has a long list of accomplishments throughout her young career including many on the international stage.
On Friday morning Simpson was recognized as a recipient of a Mayor’s Recognition Award in front of City Hall.
Simpson explained it meant a lot to her.
“We’re kind of a smaller city and I’m racing all around the world so having Red Deer’s support and getting that award is really cool,” she said.
Red Deer Mayor Ken Johnston explained once he read about Simpson he knew the city needed to acknowledge her accomplishments.
“Greatness can sometimes live among us very quietly… She really is putting us on the map, not only her sport but the city itself on the map. It’s pretty amazing,” he said.
Simpson began riding at 10 years old at the Red Deer BMX Race Club. Her cousin Mitchell Rindal, who also raced BMX, influenced her to give it a try and it didn’t take long before she fell in love with the sport.
“I got on the bike and bought one the first day. I was like, ‘yep this is it,’” she said.
“I think it’s the adrenaline rush you get around the track and the competition. I’ve got friends all over the world so it’s really cool.”
From there she quickly picked up speed competitively as an amateur racer winning seven provincial championships plus other accolades.
She was also named to the Canadian development team at just 14 years old.
While competing for her country as a professional she’s made seven Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) BMX Racing World Cup Finals winning two bronzes, a silver, and a gold medal.
Simpson won her first World Cup gold in June 2022 in the women’s under-23 race with a time of 31.151 at just 19 years old.
In 2022, Simpson was ranked third in the world in U23 Eite Women but this year made the jump up to compete in the highest class among the elite women in the sport.
She is now the 2023 Canadian Elite Women’s National Champion and is currently ranked fifth in the World Cup Series for Elite Women.
Her ranking makes her the youngest in the top 10.
This certainly has raised some eyebrows among some of her fellow competitors.
“My best friend she’s 29 and is one of the best in the world. She looks at me like ‘How are you so fast?’ It’s an honour to get compliments from older and more experienced riders,” she said.
On her newly customized bike, Simpson sports the number 44 which is her favourite number. It has a lot of meaning to her because her grandfather Barry Simpson was born in 1944 and it’s also his favourite number.
“He’s my biggest fan so I wanted to do something for him,” she added.
Simpson lives with her parents in Red Deer but spends most of her time training in Vancouver with the national team.
“It’s two to three hours a day of training. Recovery and nutrition is really important and I have an amazing coach on the national team helping guide me the best way that I can,” she said.
“You just have to be very determined and you’ve got to have fun while you’re doing it as well.
Inspiring the next generation of riders is important to her and hopes her accomplishments help young athletes know their dreams are possible. She even puts time in to coach kids in the area.
“I want to help them and make them believe that they can do it too. I’m definitely really big on the fans and I want to be supportive, humble, and do everything I can to make people feel happy,” she said.
Her goal is to become an Olympic champion and is currently working towards that by collecting points to compete in the 2024 Olympic Summer Games in Paris, France.