Brazilian gymnast turned skier can’t move arms and legs, drops out of Sochi Olympics

By Daniel S Levine,

Lais Souza, an Olympic gymnast who could not compete at the London 2012 games due to an injury, will not be able to compete at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics after a terrible accident. She is unable to move her arms and legs after a ski training accident on Monday in Salt Lake City.

Souza was taken to the University of Utah hospital’s intensive care unit after the accident, notes NBC Sports. She suffered severe trauma and underwent spine surgery. She is currently awake and breathing with a ventilator.

“Lais has a long recovery process in front of her,” Team Brasil doctor Antonio Marttos said in a statement released by the Brazil Olympic Committee. “A long-term prognostic cannot be predicted at this time. Her medical team is doing everything possible to allow her to have the best recovery possible.”

She was wearing a helmet when she was injured. She was working with her trainer, Canadian coach Ryan Snow.

According to Fox Sports 1, the 25-year-old was trying to be the first Brazilian to take part in the freestyle skiing event. She didn’t automatically qualify, but was expected to at least get a spot, since she was a top alternate.

Souza competed in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, but sat out of London due to a hand injury.

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