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Olympics: Brazilian aerials athlete cries for paralysed friend

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Joselane Santos could not help but break down in tears after finishing last in the women's aerials competition at the Sochi Olympics on Friday.

But it wasn't her performance that upset her, it was the thought of the woman she replaced to come to Russia.

Lais Souza was paralysed in a skiing accident in Utah, after which Santos took her place in the Olympic team.

"I was very emotional. I dedicate this to my friend who was injured before I came here," said Santos.

Her participation was all the more remarkable as she only took up the sport seven months ago after switching from gymnastics.

"I only had seven months of training," she said. "It's very similar to gymnastics, although sometimes it's very different."

Winter sports are not very popular in Brazil, a largely tropical country which will host the next summer Olympics, but Santos is hopeful her participation will have at least caused a minor ripple back home.

"I'm not sure because I have been here, but I hope there is a lot of excitement," she said.

bc/dj

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140214/olympics-brazilian-aerials-athlete-cries-paralysed-friend