An Olympic nightmare unfolded for a young Olympic hopeful after a training accident leaves her without the use of her arms and legs. Gymnast Lais Souza from Brazil, who showed promise in the freestyle skiing competition going into the Sochi games, is breathing on a ventilator after the accident that happened while training in the U.S., according to Fox Sports on Jan. 29.
The Brazilian gymnast sustained “severe trauma” in the Salt Lake City accident on Monday. Souza is in the intensive care unit at the University of Utah Hospital today, and while awake and able to follow commands, she can’t do much else at this time.
Souza has already undergone one surgery that “realigned her spine.” When doctors were asked about the long-term prognosis for this Brazilian teen, they report a prognosis for the long-term “cannot be predicted at this time.”
The Olympic Committee has divulged very little information around this accident, only saying that the injuries did not happen as Souza practiced her free-style maneuvers. She was wearing a helmet and was skiing at Park City alongside Ryan Snow, a Canadian coach, when this training accident occurred. .
Souza was in line to make history for Brazil at the Olympics as the first one from her country to compete in the Winter Games freestyle skiing category. While she hadn’t qualified as of yet, Souza was considered a shoe-in for this event.