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Doctor says Olympic skier paralysed

Thursday 6 Mar 2014 7:08 a.m.

Maria Komissarova (Reuters)

Maria Komissarova (Reuters)

A Russian freestyle skier who was hospitalised after a serious accident at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games is permanently paralysed, doctors say.

Maria Komissarova, 23, is in a German clinic after suffering a fractured spine in a crash in training for the ski cross event at Sochi 2014, by far the worst accident of the Winter Games.

"Due to the severity of the injury, the functions of the spinal canal are not regenerating," Russia's Freestyle Federation said, cited specialists at the German clinic as saying.

"In the opinion of the specialists, Masha will be able to move around independently using special equipment," the statement said on Wednesday, using a diminutive for Maria.

Komissarova is due to spend another 10 weeks in the German clinic learning to adapt to her condition and will then undergo a long period of treatment and rehabilitation, the federation said.

Komissarova herself wrote on Instagram late last month: "I do not feel my body lower than my belly button ... But I am strong and I know that some day I will definitely be on my feet again."

While still hospitalised in Russia, Komissarova had received a personal visit from President Vladimir Putin at her bedside.

Ski-cross is one of the most frenetic and risky events of the Games, where four skiers race together down a slope filled with jumps, obstacles and banked corners.

NZN

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