by Barry Gerding – Kelowna Capital News

Like most athletes competing today, the era of concussion diagnosis awareness is prevalent in the competitive ski world of Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa.

While Serwa’s sports injuries have been mainly to do with her knees, she says awareness of head injuries and the need to give your head a chance to recover from even the slightest perceived injury has risen to a new level.

“A lot of people do and have suffered concussions and don’t even realize it. I think we all have to realize that our brains are important. My issues have been with my knees and you can operate on those, but we only get one brain in our lives and it can’t be replaced,” Serwa said.

“Injuries are inherent with what we do as ski racers, pushing the boundaries and limits…its’ a fine line between going too hard and finding that sweet spot where you go fast and get that adrenaline rush we all seek but still being in control and safe.”

Serwa will share her thoughts about concussion awareness and her silver medal winning experience at the recent Sochi Olympics as the guest speaker for an event being organized by BrainTrust Canada.

The event will be the showing of a documentary about U.S. Olympic snowboarder Kevin Pearce, called The Crash Reel, which follows his story of suffering a head injury prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the slow, arduous recovery he underwent just to learn how to walk again after being in a coma for several weeks.

Serwa said she’s aware of Pearce’s story but has never met him. And her boyfriend, also a competitive skier, has had his share of head injuries to deal with as well.

Serwa said she will give about a half-hour presentation with video of her Olympic experience in Sochi, and will autograph posters in the theatre lobby after the documentary is over.

The Crash Reel will be shown Thursday, March 27, 6:30 p.m., at Kelowna Community Theatre. Sponsored by BMO, tickets are $12/person available at any BMO branch in Kelowna, through or at smart