Olympic freestyle skier Maria Komissarova paralyzed from waist down
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (right) visits Russian Olympic skicross racer Maria Komissarova at a hospital in Sochi on Feb. 15 after she broke her back in a training crash. Komissarova says she is paralyzed from the waist down. (Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Reuters)
Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova says she is paralyzed from the waist down after breaking her back in a training crash at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
The 23-year-old underwent two operations after suffering a fracture and dislocation of the spine and has been rehabilitating at a German clinic.
"I don't know where to start, but I don't want to shrink into myself because everyone has supported me so much," she said on her Instagram page on Wednesday.
"Thank you! It's been 10 days since my spine surgeries. I don't feel the body below the navel. But I'm strong and I know that sometime I will definitely recover feet!"
Komissarova sustained the injury while training at the Olympic skicross venue at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
She had a metal implant inserted during a six-hour operation at a hospital specially built for the Games, after which she was flown to Germany for further treatment in Munich.
Before leaving Russia she was visited by Russian President Vladimir Putin, while the country's sports minister Vitaly Mutko had previously said the state would pay for her treatment.