When Molly Simpson was approached by her cousin Mitchell Rindal to try BMX racing, it didn’t take much coaxing to get her involved.
“He was seventh in the world at one time, and when he asked me, I jumped at the idea. I’m an active person, and it interested me,” she said.
She was 10 at the time, and she was a natural.
“I liked the jumping and the competitiveness. I caught on very quickly and had success right away.”
In fact, in 2013, she was the best 11-year-old in the country, winning Alberta and Canadian titles.
She’s won the provincial crown every year since and the 13-year-old Red Deer native is currently on Team Alberta in the Expert 14-year-old division.
Her strong standing in the province earned her a spot in the just completed International Race of Champions in Tulsa, Okla. where in two races she reached the final, finishing fifth, and the semifinal.
“You had to be in the top three in the province to qualify,” she explained.
“It was the first time I was there, and it was great as there were competitors from all over the world.”
Her success hasn’t went unnoticed as she’s picked up a sponsor in Daylight Cycles.
“By competing in the nationals you get the recognition with a lot of sponsors and scouts there,” she said.
Competing for Team Alberta also has it’s benefits.
“We get to travel to B.C., and the nationals, and, hopefully, the next Canada Summer Games,” she said.
But while Simpson is most noted for her BMX accomplishments, she’s not one dimensional, as she also plays basketball for the Glendale Science and Technology School, and hockey with the bantam A Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs.
“I’m very active and enjoy doing a lot of things,” said the Grade 8 student, who plays point guard for her basketball team.
The basketball and hockey keeps her busy in the BMX off-season, but she also trains at the indoor BMX facility in Olds.
“I go there a lot during the winter.”
During the summer she’s at the Red Deer BMX facility, which is one of the beast in the province.
“It’s good and I get good coaching,” Simpson said. “There are also a lot of kids around my age I can train with and compete against.”
Simpson looks back at the time spent in Tulsa, and the extra time training, as beneficial to her next goal — competing in the World championships in South Carolina.
“There will be a lot of kids at the worlds I competed against in Tulsa, so knowing the competition will help,” she said.
And while she will continue to play basketball and hockey her desire is to go as high as she can on the track.
“My long term goal is to compete in the Olympics,” she concluded.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca