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Molly Simpson named Red Deer Advocate Female Athlete of the Year

After a productive year in 2023
Molly Simpson of Canada celebrates after winning a silver medal in the Women’s BMX Racing during the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, in Santiago, Chile, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-COC, Leah Hennel, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Local BMX athlete Molly Simpson says she is honoured to be named the Red Deer Advocate Female Athlete of the Year.

The 21-year-old was announced as the recipient of the annual award as part of Central Sport’s 2023 sporting awards that were presented last week.

“It’s just nice to know that I have the support of the City of Red Deer behind me,” she said. “It also makes me feel a little bit more confident knowing the accomplishments I had last year and just having them recognized is a pretty good feeling.”

Simpson had a productive year in 2023 on the international BMX circuit including a silver medal at the Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile. To come out with the silver medal, she went up against stiff competition and came in second behind a two-time Olympic champion.

“My silver medal at the Pan Am Games was definitely my favourite event last year. It was my first major game so the experience was amazing and I just really enjoyed it. I had a smile on my face and rode my bike fast so it was good.”

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.

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.

She also 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.

Simpson now competes among elite women rather than in the U23 category because of her impressive resume in racing. She made the switch just last year and is now competing alongside the best in the world.

“I made five World Cup Finals in 2023 and I was the only elite female to make five consistently in a row which was pretty cool,” she said.

“Having the older girls who are more experienced than me know that stat is also pretty cool. They’d come up to me and say by the way you’re the only female who’s been in five finals this year.”

Next up for Simpson is preparing for the world championships which will be held at the end of May. She’s also gearing up to represent Canada at the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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