After the lights dimmed on the Olympics Closing Ceremonies Sunday, many marveled over the incident-free Sochi games. (Well, that is, if those people didn't count the attack on Pussy Riot near Sochi as an incident.) Unfortunately, the Olympic admirers were wrong, with one tragedy striking one of Russia's own during a training run. Skicross racer Maria Komissarova is paralyzed after breaking her spine during a training run, the athlete said on her Instagram account.
Komissarova, posting an image from a hospital bed with her boyfriend Alex Chaadayev, wrote:
I do not feel my body lower than my belly button. But I am strong and know that some day I will definitely be on my feet again.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Komissarova tumbled while training on Feb. 15, suffering a fall that landed her in emergency surgery for six hours. International Olympic Committee spokesman Mike Adams addressed concerns over the safety of the course following Komissarova's fall, saying:
We are following athletes' health and safety very carefully. We're monitoring it. I spoke to the people who are doing the monitoring, and this morning they told me they don't appear to have any difference from previous games.
Despite her injury, Komissarova is optimistic about her recovery, and has received support from Chaadayev and Russian President Vladimir Putin himself, who visited the athlete before she was airlifted to a German hospital following her initial surgery.
Komissarova is not the only athlete to suffer an injury during the 2014 Olympics. (Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko, for one, had to drop out of the men's competition following his fall.) Komissarova's fall also comes four years after a bobsledder from the Republic of Georgia, Nodar Kumaritashvili, died hitting a steel beam on a course during his training run.