Lais Souza, a 25 year old Brazilian gymnast who was scheduled to compete in the Sochi Olympics as a freestyle skier, won’t be making the trip.
Earlier this week, she took time off from training at Park City, Utah, to do some recreational skiing. She hit a tree on a downhill run, and is currently on life support. Nerve damage caused by a dislocated neck has left her with no feeling from the neck down, but doctors are not yet ready to declare her paralyzed, saying that some or all function might still return once the swelling goes down.
Souza competed for Brazil in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics as a gymnast. She was unable to compete in 2012 due to a hand injury.
Even before this week’s mishap, she had little or no chance for a medal in Russia. She’s only been skiing for about six months.