- Associated Press - Friday, March 14, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - A Brazilian Olympic freestyle skier who was on her way to competing at the Sochi Winter Games when she was paralyzed while training in Utah has completed her first week of rehabilitation in Miami.

In a statement released Thursday, Lais Souza said she’s feeling better and ready to face the challenges ahead of her. She also expressed gratitude for the support she has received from around the world.

Souza participated in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics as a gymnast before switching to the winter sport. Another Brazilian skier took her place in Sochi.

Souza injured her spine Jan. 27 when she hit a tree. The 25-year-old is being treated at Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital in Miami.

Hospital officials said Souza is learning to use an electric wheelchair.

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