Lais Souza

Lais Souza
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Lais Souza, paralyzed Olympic gymnast, eyes Rio torch relay, attending Games

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Lais Souza, a two-time Brazil Olympic gymnast paralyzed in a skiing accident on Jan. 27, 2014, said she will take part in the Rio Olympic torch relay and hopes to attend the Games in August.

Souza, 27, did interviews with Brazilian media including Globo and Universo Online ahead of the two-year anniversary of her recreational skiing crash after qualifying to take part in the Sochi 2014 Olympic aerials competition.

On Jan. 27, 2014, Souza suffered a broken neck and a spine injury after hitting a tree while skiing recreationally in Park City, Utah, not while training high-flying aerials maneuvers. The accident left her unable to move her arms and legs.

She has said she dreams of walking again and has a tattoo of a person in a wheelchair gradually standing up.

Souza said she will take part in the Olympic torch relay in São Paulo later this year and hopes to attend the Rio gymnastics competition and maybe the Opening Ceremony in August, according to Universo Online, but does not have tickets or an invitation.

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Paralyzed Brazil Olympic gymnast turned skier learning electric wheelchair

Lais Souza
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Lais Souza is learning to use an electric wheelchair, more than six weeks after she was paralyzed in a skiing accident before she hoped to compete in the Sochi Olympics as an aerialist.

The Brazilian, a two-time Olympic gymnast, completed her first week of rehabilitation in Miami, according to the Brazil Olympic Committee.

Souza said she’s feeling better, is ready to face what lies ahead and thanked her supporters in a statement.

Souza hit a tree skiing in Utah on Jan. 27, suffering a spine injury and being left unable to move her arms and legs.

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

Lais Souza
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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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