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How Laurenne Ross overcame more than 200 stitches in her face

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Laurenne Ross issued a warning before discussing her injury history.

“I might start crying, because it makes me really emotional,” she said. “It’s been really hard.”

Sure enough, Ross seamlessly transitioned from crying to laughing and back again in an interview at a pre-Olympic media summit in West Hollywood, Calif.

Ross, who started skiing at 18 months old, had her first injury setback at just 9 years old, when a crash resulted in a major face laceration.

NBCOlympics.com: Five fun questions to get to know Laurenne Ross

“My cheek was basically torn off of my face,” Ross recalled.

Her cheek required more than 100 stitches.

“I am still reminded of it every time I look in the mirror,” Ross said. “To see these scars as a positive part of who I am has taken my whole life, and I’m still working on it.”

Her medical chart has only thickened since then. Shattered pelvis. Torn ACL. Concussions. Multiple broken bones in her hands and wrists. Labral tear in her right hip. A few bulging disks. Two severe ankle sprains. A left shoulder that has been dislocated at least five times.

NBCOlympics.com: How to watch every single Olympic Alpine skiing competition live

She suffered even more facial lacerations in a crash in Lake Louise in 2011, pushing her lifetime accumulation of stitches in her face to over 200.

“All of these injuries took time to come back from,” Ross said, “but have made me stronger in the end.”

Ross has had the two best seasons of her eight-year World Cup career since finishing 11th in the Sochi downhill in her Olympic debut. The 29-year-old had seven top-10 finishes during the 2016-17 season, and another nine in 2015-16.  She finished fourth in the Olympic test event downhill in South Korea.

But on March 27, she crashed and blew out her right knee in the giant slalom at the U.S. Championships in Sugarloaf, Maine.

“This specific injury is by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever been through,” Ross said.

Ross returned to World Cup competition on Dec. 9. She recorded a top-10 finish in just the second race of her comeback.

“I know it’s going to be the most difficult thing for me to come back from,” Ross said. “But I love skiing, and I’m so passionate about it. I can’t see myself giving up on it.”

David Rudisha escapes car crash ‘well and unhurt’

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David Rudisha, a two-time Olympic champion and world record holder at 800m, is “well and unhurt” after a car accident in his native Kenya, according to his Facebook account.

Kenyan media reported that one of Rudisha’s tires burst on Saturday night, leading his car to collide with a bus, and he was treated for minor injuries at a hospital.

Rudisha, 30, last raced July 4, 2017, missing extended time with a quad muscle strain and back problems. His manager said last week that Rudisha will miss next month’s world championships.

Rudisha owns the three fastest times in history, including the world record 1:40.91 set in an epic 2012 Olympic final.

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Tokyo Paralympic medals unveiled with historic Braille design, indentations

Tokyo Paralympic Medals
Tokyo 2020
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The Tokyo Paralympic medals, which like the Olympic medals are created in part with metals from recycled cell phones and other small electronics, were unveiled on Sunday, one year out from the Opening Ceremony.

In a first for the Paralympics, each medal has one to three indentation(s) on its side to distinguish its color by touch — one for gold, two silver and three for bronze. Braille letters also spell out “Tokyo 2020” on each medal’s face.

For Rio, different amounts of tiny steel balls were put inside the medals based on their color, so that when shaken they would make distinct sounds. Visually impaired athletes could shake the medals next to their ears to determine the color.

More on the design from Tokyo 2020:

The design is centered around the motif of a traditional Japanese fan, depicting the Paralympic Games as the source of a fresh new wind refreshing the world as well as a shared experience connecting diverse hearts and minds. The kaname, or pivot point, holds all parts of the fan together; here it represents Para athletes bringing people together regardless of nationality or ethnicity. Motifs on the leaves of the fan depict the vitality of people’s hearts and symbolize Japan’s captivating and life-giving natural environment in the form of rocks, flowers, wood, leaves, and water. These are applied with a variety of techniques, producing a textured surface that makes the medals compelling to touch.

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Tokyo Paralympic Medals

Tokyo Paralympic Medals