Lais Souza

Brazil Olympic gymnast turned skier unable to move arms, legs after crash

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Aerials skier Lais Souza, a two-time Olympic gymnast for Brazil, is unable to move her arms or legs in a Utah hospital after a skiing training crash Monday.

Souza was in an intensive care unit at a University of Utah hospital, awake and breathing with the help of ventilation Wednesday, according to the Brazil Olympic Committee.

She had spine surgery after suffering severe trauma in a Salt Lake City crash Monday.

”Lais has a long recovery process in front of her,” Team Brasil doctor Antonio Marttos said, according to the 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.”

Souza, 25, attempted to become the first Olympic gymnast to compete in a Winter Olympics this year, according to OlympStats.com.

Brazil did not automatically qualify for women’s aerials, but was the fourth alternate in reallocation if other countries that did earn spots gave them back. So far, the top three alternates have been added to the Olympic field, making Brazil the top alternate.

Souza competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics gymnastics competition but was injured for 2012.

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USA Hockey to start reaching out to potential replacement players

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USA Hockey will begin reaching out to “alternate players” to determine their interest in playing for the U.S. at the women’s world championship next week amid a potential boycott by its national team.

The contact is taking place in the event a resolution cannot be reached between USA Hockey and the women’s national team in a wage dispute.

“It’s important for everyone to understand clearly that our objective is to have the players we named as the U.S. women’s national team be the ones that compete in the world championship,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, in a statement. “Productive conversations have taken place this week and are ongoing in our collective efforts to reach a resolution.”

The alternate players are in the professional NWHL and college, according to USA Today.

The world championship tournament starts March 31 in Plymouth, Mich.

As of Thursday evening, no resolution has come between USA Hockey and its women’s national team. Neither side has said when its next scheduled meeting will take place.

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MORE: NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel tells The Associated Press he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

NHL team owners have made it clear they don’t want to stop their season again for the Winter Games and put their stars at risk of injury. The reluctance has come up before and yet the NHL has participated in the Olympics since 1998. This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.

The head of the NHL Players Association, Donald Fehr, says the players want to participate and hopes the league will take advantage of the chance to market the game in Asia.

However, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says without “material change to the current status quo, NHL players will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

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MORE: 2018 Olympic hockey groups set