Famed Canadian alpine ski racer retires

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 20, 2010 10:28 am

Time to say goodbye to the racing stylings of Ms. Genevieve Simard of Val-Morin, Quebec. Today she announced her retirement from the world of competitive ski racing.

Simard’s four World Cup giant slalom podiums are the third most GS podium wins of all time for female Canadian alpine ski racers. She joined the Canadian Alpine Ski Team in 1996; some of her honors include the Alpine Canada Alpin Breakthrough Athlete of the Year Award in 2002, and the Female Athlete of the Year award in both 2004 and 2005. She has also won three national championships while a member of the national team. During the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy, she placed a career best fifth place in the GS.

“Gen is a gifted athlete whose focus and determination led her to a very successful ski racing career. We will miss her as role model on the team,” said ACA Chief Athletics Officer Max Gartner. “She is an inspiration to the next generation of young Canadian female ski racers who are working their way through the national ski racing system dreaming to follow her footsteps.”

“PricewaterhouseCoopers is proud to have sponsored Gen’s ski career,” said Chris Clark, Canadian Senior Partner and CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Canada, which has been Simard’s headgear sponsor. “Gen’s dedication and commitment to sport has earned her many podium finishes and made her a terrific role model for our people at PwC. Although we will miss watching Gen on the international ski racing circuit, we congratulate her on an outstanding career and wish her all the best as she takes on new challenges.”

Simard missed many World Cup events during the past two seasons while rehabilitating her left knee. She had an osteotomy (surgery to realign the knee) in the spring of 2007.

“I think I can retire now with the conviction that I have tried everything I possibly could. It would be an understatement to say that the last two years have been extremely challenging,” said the 29-year-old. “Health is one of the most important things to me and my body has been telling me for quite some time that I have been pushing it.

I was the first elite skier to undergo an osteotomy and come back to competitive skiing at the World Cup level,” Simard said. “I won one run of a World Cup GS last season, which is something I am very proud of. But I think it is time I listened to my body. I know there is a great life after skiing and I need a healthy body to enjoy it.

I am proud of what I accomplished as a skier. I would have liked to end my career with a medal at the Vancouver Olympics and I will miss the chance to compete in front of Canadians, the fans, my friends and family,” Simard said. “I want to focus on the things that I did achieve. Skiing has given me a lot and has taught me so much about myself, it has given me the opportunity to meet tremendous individuals and these are the memories that I take with me.”