Forget sport, Komissarova just wants to walk

Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:38pm EST
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By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Maria Komissarova has been told to forget about sport and move on with her life which is not easy for a freestyle skier who dreamed of winning gold at last year's Sochi Olympics and now hopes only to walk again.

This time last year Komissarova was among Russia's brightest talents, heading into a home Olympics as a glamorous face for the country's extravagantly expensive Winter Games.

Then everything changed.

Sunday marks the anniversary of an accident in training that left her paralysed and facing an uncertain future, undermined by broken promises from the Russian government who have left her without the means to fund her costly rehabilitation.

Like many of Sochi's white elephant venues, she has been largely forgotten and languishes in Spain in the midst of a punishing treatment program, clinging onto the hope that she might be able to move again.

Twelve months ago, however, she had the world at her feet.

Scheduled to compete in the ski-cross, Komissarova, a silver medallist at the World Cup in 2012, undertook a fateful training routine and fell coming out of a jump at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, suffering a displaced spinal fracture.

"From a great height, I landed with my knees straight and they gave way immediately," the 24-year-old told Reuters.   Continued...

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) visits Russian Olympic skicross racer Maria Komissarova at a hospital in Sochi, February 15, 2014.  REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin