Laís da Silva Souza (born in December 13, 1988) is a Brazilian gymnast who has competed since 2003. She helped the Brazilian team to qualify for two Olympic Games. Souza is a specialist on vault. She is also a freestyle skier, and hoped to be the first Brazilian to compete in a Winter Olympics, but a severe neck injury landed her in the hospital and kept her out of the Games.
Her first important competition in Brazilian Team was in 2003 Pan American Games, where she placed 3rd in Team Competition, behind team USA and team Canada. In the same year, she also helped the Brazilian team to qualify an entire team for the 2004 Olympic Games, in 2003 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Brazilian Team placed 8th overall. In her first Olympic Games, she helped Team Brazil to place 9th. She scored 9.387 on vault, 8.762 on bars, 9.375 on beam and 8.675 on floor.
In 2005 she competed in São Paulo World Cup. She scored 15.112, placing 2nd on vault. Cheng Fei was the gold medalist (15.6) and Elena Zamolodchikova was the bronze medalist (14.875). In 2006 she took part in 2006 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. She placed 4th on vault, scoring 14.987. Oksana Chusovitina was the bronze medalist (15.1), Alicia Sacramone was the silver medalist (15.325) and Cheng Fei was the gold medalist (15.712). She was also 7h in team competition and 8th on floor (14.75). In this year, she was considered the Sportswoman of the year in Brazil. In 2007, Laís won 3 medals in 2007 Panamerican Games. She placed second in the team final, behind Team USA. She was also third on vault (14.650) and bars (15.050). She also helped the Brazilian team to qualify an entire team for the second time in 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. In 2008 she placed 8th in the team final, in 2008 Olympic Games, the best team-result for Brazil so far. Her best individual result during that Olympics was the 26th on bars (14.775).
Souza continued with gymnastics. She did not compete for a few years, but began training again in 2011. She was solid enough to be named to the 2012 Olympic Team in July. However, after being named to the team, she suffered an injury to her hand and was replaced by Ethiene Franco.
2014 Skiing Accident
Souza was training in freestyle skiing to represent Brazil at the Sochi Olympics when she sustained "severe trauma to the cervical spine." She had surgery that Tuesday but was unable to move her limbs and required a machine to breathe and eat. As of March, she's working towards her recovery, and as of late April, she can move her arms.
|2003||Santo Domingo Pan American Games||3rd|
|Anaheim World Championships||8|
|2004||Athens Olympic Games||9|
|2005||São Paolo World Cup||2nd||5|
|Cottbus World Cup||1st||2nd|
|Paris World Cup||1st||5||3rd|
|Stuttgart World Cup||1st||4|
|2006||Aarhus World Championships||7||4||8|
|Moscow World Cup||3rd||8||2nd|
|Cottbus World Cup||3rd||3rd|
|Brazilian National Championships||1st|
|2007||Rio de Janeiro Pan American Games||2nd||3rd||3rd|
|Stuttgart World Championships||5|
|Brazilian National Championships||1st||1st|
|2008||Beijing Olympic Games||8|