Jessica Sevick and Gabrielle Smith

Jessica Sevick

Biography

When she was 12 years old, Jessica Sevick was doing a luge training run at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary when she crashed on one of the final turns. She suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and her family was told she may not survive or could be disabled for the rest of her life. She spent a month in hospital, including two weeks in a coma, as she embarked on a long recovery that has never really ended. The injury led to cerebellar atrophy, which causes poor balance, but she hasn’t let that stop her athletic ambitions. 

Though learning to row was a struggle – and her balance in the boat is something she still works on – Sevick enjoyed some quick success on the water. In 2016, she was part of the winning senior women’s eight at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, just four months after fracturing the tibial plateau in her leg and undergoing surgery. In 2017, she competed at the Henley Royal Regatta with the Calgary Rowing Club. That same year, she moved to Vancouver to attend UBC and began racing for the Thunderbirds. 

In late 2018, Sevick represented Canada at the Pan American Games Qualification Regatta in Rio. She was then selected to race the single sculls at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, where she won the gold medal. 

A Little More About Jessica 

Getting into the Sport: Started rowing in 2016 (at age 26) at Calgary Rowing Club after her physiotherapist suggested she give it a try… Outside Interests: Enjoys mountain biking, alpine skiing, camping, reading… Graduated from the University of Alberta in 2007 with a degree in Civil-Biomedical Engineering… Studied neuroscience at the University of British Columbia… Worked as an MRI research assistant at the University of Calgary… Supports Fast and Female and Love Your Brain… Odds and Ends: Favourite sports team is the Calgary Flames… Inspired by Catriona Le May Doan being the first Canadian Olympian to successfully defend an individual Olympic gold medal… Favourite quote: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose”… Wears lucky socks on race day…

Notable International Results

Pan American Games: 2019 – GOLD (W1x)