SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Brazilian gymnast expected to compete in freestyle skiing at the Sochi Olympics is unable to move her arms or legs and can’t breathe on her own after she hit a tree while skiing in Utah this week, doctors said Thursday.
Lais Souza, 25, is fighting for her life and will definitely miss the Olympics, said Brazilian team doctor Antonio Marttos at a news conference in Salt Lake City.
She was injured Monday when she hit a tree while skiing recreationally in Park City, Utah, in an accident doctors said could have happened to anybody. She was not injured while practicing her freestyle maneuvers.
Doctors aren’t declaring Souza paralyzed at this point, but recognize that’s a possibility. She dislocated a vertebrae near the top of her spine, said Dr. Andrew Dailey, a neurosurgeon with University of Utah Health Care. She remains in critical condition, still using a breathing machine and unable to talk.
“She is fighting for her life,” said Marttos, a trauma surgeon at the University of Miami Health System.
Souza has no feeling in her arms or legs, said Dailey.