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Doctors: Brazilian Olympian fighting for her life

The Columbian
Published: January 29, 2014, 4:00pm

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Doctors say a Brazilian gymnast expected to compete in freestyle skiing at the Sochi Olympics is unable to move, talk or breathe on her own after an accident this week while skiing in Utah.

Brazilian team doctor Antonio Marttos said Thursday that 25-year-old Lais Souza (LEYE-ehz SOH-sah) is fighting for her life and will definitely miss the Olympics. She was injured Monday when she hit a tree while skiing in Park City. She was not injured while practicing her freestyle maneuvers.

University of Utah neurosurgeon Andrew Dailey says she suffered a severe spinal injury and has no feeling in her arms or legs. He says it’s still too soon to know whether she’ll regain feeling.

Souza participated in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics as a gymnast.