Russian Skier Paralysed for Life after Sochi Olympics Crash

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Maria Komissarova
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) visits Russian Olympic skicross racer Maria Komissarova at a hospital in Sochi, February 15, 2014. Russian Olympic skicross racer Maria Komissarova underwent six-and-a-half hours of spinal surgery on Saturday after breaking her back in a Sochi 2014 training crash. The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin would visit Komissarova, who was now conscious, while the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement: "Our thoughts are with the athlete and the family". REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin REUTERS

Russian skier Maria Komissarova is reportedly paralysed for life after she suffered a crash during one of her training runs at the recently concluded Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Kommisarova's case is reportedly the first serious injury in Sochi.

According to a news report by the Sydney Morning Herald, the 23-year-old skier broke her 12th dorsal vertebrae in her lower-middle back on Feb. 15 while training at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Komissarova was instantly brought to the hospital facility particularly constructed for the Winter Olympics where she received immediate operation on her back that lasted for six hours. A metal was implanted on her fractured back before she was transported to Munich, Germany to receive further expert treatment.

The Russian Freestyle Federation revealed in a statement after getting in touch with the surgeons who attend to Komissarova's case that the skier is paralysed for life and that she will only be able to move on her own by means of special devices.

"Due to the severity of injury, the functions of the spinal canal are not regenerating," the statement reads.

"Doctors in Munich said that she needed to remain in rehab for approximately 10 weeks, during which she will adapt to new conditions of life."

Komissarova may be scarred for life but she is hopeful that one day, she will be able to walk on her feet again. She is thankful for the support that she is getting during this time. President Vladimir Putin had visited her at the hospital, but Komissarova is more thankful for the presence and support of her long-time boyfriend Alex Chaadaev, who is a ski cross skier and part of the Russian Ski Cross Team.

On Feb. 26, Komissarova posted a picture of her with her Chaadaev at her hospital bed on Instagram. "Ten days have passed since the operation on my spine, I do not feel the body below the navel but I am strong and I know that someday I can stand on my legs again," she wrote in Russian language.

"If not for Alex, I would have probably gone mad," she added.

"He is my God, even during these moments, I continue to be happy, though it is very hard."

"All this time, he did not depart from my bed, giving me all the energy."

"In any case, our life goes on and I pray and believe that everything will be okay."

Komissarova is the first Russian female to win a World Cup medal. She placed second at the 2012 World Cup in Grindelwald, Switzerland.

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