Sit-ups are such a standard strength-training exercise, you never think you could be seriously injured doing one. But that's what happened to a 23-year-old Brazilian law graduate and fitness model—and her recovery has been nothing short of miraculous.
In January 2016, Marcelle Mancuso was at the gym doing inverted sit-ups (which means your ankles are in the air high and your head lower near the floor) while strapped into a bench. A trainer who was spotting her also held her feet as she did her sit-ups.
“The band that held my feet broke and I hit my head on the floor, breaking the cervical spine and immediately became tetraplegic,” she tells Health. “I lost all movement from the neck down.”
Also referred to as quadriplegia, tetraplegia is the paralysis of both the upper and lower parts of the body—including the fingers, hands, arms, chest, legs, feet, and toes. Tetraplegia can also limit mobility of the head, neck, and shoulders, states the University of Alabama School of Medicine.
After the injury, which left her without the use of her arms and legs, Mancuso says that doctors put a titanium plate and six screws in her neck to realign her spine.
“The doctors did not know if I would walk again,” she says. “I was scared but I fought. I have been resilient and dedicated myself every day to my physiotherapy.”
Mancuso had to learn how to walk and even feed herself all over again, but she eventually managed to recover and return to the gym. Today, she says she leads a “normal and independent life,” and can walk, run, jump rope, and swim.
"I thank God every day for that,” she says of her miraculous recovery. As for her sit-up routine, she tells us that she's done with the inverted kind. "I do sit-ups but only on the ground, lying flat!" she says.
What an Olympics it’s been for 17-year-old American athletes.
Snowboarders Chloe Kim and Red Gerard took home gold in their events earlier this week. Now, teen figure skater Vincent Zhou has made Olympic history by landing a quadruple Lutz.
Zhou is the first skater to ever land the jump at the Olympics.
No skater has successfully landed a quad Axel in competition, making the Lutz the most difficult quad jump you’ll see at the Olympics
Fellow American Nathan Chen, who is just 18, also has a quad Lutz in his routine and landed two of them during his free skate at Skate America earlier this season.
Olympic pairs skating just got so hardcore and the internet is here for it.
France’s Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres performed to the metal band Disturbed’s take on Simon and Garfunkel’s classic “Sound of Silence” at the free skating event and it elicited some truly excellent internet reactions.
The pair, who won the bronze medal at the 2017 European Championships, finished sixth place in the team event short program with a score of 75.34. It was enough to advance them to the medal round. But perhaps most importantly, the duo won over the internet with how they epitomized elegance to a surprisingly hard-hitting track.
It’s the go-to song for the pair, who have been skating together since 2010. They also used the song for their free skate last year. “It was our coaches who found it,” James told the Associated Press about the song. “They were like, ‘We really think it could be a hit.’”
This marks the first Olympics where competitors can skate to songs with lyrics. The use of popular music is helping viewers connect even more with what’s already one of the most popular sports of the Winter Games.
See the best reactions to the pair below.
Listen for yourself below.
Don’t expect all pop hits at the rink in Pyeongchang. Fan favorites like France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron plan to perform to “Moonlight Sonato.”Wint
You would think that when Mirai Nagasu became the first American female figure skater to land the triple axel at the 2018 Olympic Games, that’s ALL anyone would talk about. Turns out that you can accomplish a feat of strength at the Olympics and people will still be like, “That’s great, but is that a gigantic tattoo on your thigh?”
During her routine, it appeared as if Mirai had “USA” tattooed down her thigh. While that would have been baller if it was the case, what you saw was just therapeutic tape. In fact, you can even buy your own Team USA KT Tape like Nagasu’s online, which is meant to relieve pain and provide support to sore muscles, joints, and tendons.
After Twitter worked itself into a frenzy over speculation that Nagasu had a giant thigh tat, Nagasu set the record straight by retweeting someone who explained that she’s just wearing tape.
“No, Mirai Nagasu does not have a huge tattoo on her inner thigh,” someone wrote on Twitter. “It’s therapeutic tape. Unless…She has a huge tattoo of therapeutic tape on her inner thigh???!!!”
Nagasu had a sense of humor about the whole thing and added: “Omg mindblown that I’ve been figured out.”
She also responded “just some tape” to another report about her “tattoo.”
So, sorry all-of-Twitter, but this…
…is not the badass tattoo you thought it was.
On the bright side, this entire debacle led us to Nagasu’s Twitter account, where we learned that she is clearly a woman after our own hearts.
She’s a Pitch Perfect fan who also wants to meet Leslie Jones? Same.
During her free skate for the figure skating team event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, Mirai Nagasu made history when she landed a triple axel, becoming the first American woman to do so at the Olympics and the third woman to do so in the history of the Winter Games.
Nagasu was the only skater in the women’s free skate who attempted the difficult jump, which requires a forward takeoff and three-and-a-half rotations. She’s one of only three American women who have landed a triple axel in competition, the other two being Tonya Harding and Kimmie Meissner, though Nagasu is the only one to have done it in the Olympics.
As might be expected, the internet was overjoyed when Nagasu completed the triple axel and took to Twitter to share their many emotions about it.