Bonny (Warner) Simi has a long history with USA Luge and the Olympic movement. An Olympian in 1984, 1988 and 1992 in luge, and a 2002 Olympic alternate in bobsled, Simi credits her experiences in the sport with becoming a global citizen.
“Luge played an important role in my development as a young adult,” said Simi. Because Simi competed in Europe during the 1980s and early 1990s, she saw eastern-Europe transform with the fall of the Berlin Wall. As such, she learned the importance of cross-cultural communication and understanding that every country is different. She continues to use that knowledge daily as a professional.
In 1990 Bonny became a pilot for United Airlines. After the Olympic Winter Games in 2002 she started piloting flights for JetBlue and has since moved into management as president of JetBlue Technology Ventures.
After 2002 Simi immersed herself in her career and it wasn’t until her daughter Kate was 10-years-old that she became involved in the sport once again. Kate started sliding and made her way through the Junior D, C and B teams and even competed in Europe for a couple seasons until a serious, off-ice injury, sidelined her.
During her daughter’s years of competing Simi and her husband Tony became USA Luge officials. “You can’t have a competition without officials. As officials, we allow the athletes to be successful,” said Simi, when asked why she wanted to give back to the sport in that capacity. Simi has also been on a number of committees within the USA Luge governance structure, most recently on the Finance and Compensation Committee.
Simi still has a sled and competes in Masters every few years. Keep an eye out for her the next time the race is on the Park City track.