15 year old Gabriel Diniz paralyzed in Jiu Jitsu tournament

15 year old Team Black House Conch division grappler Gabriel Diniz was severely injured in the semi-final round of the Espírito Santo State Jiu-Jitsu Championship Blue Belt division.

Gabriel Diniz was the victim of one of the most severe injuries in sports, that being a spinal injury. As a result of the grappling match above he injured his third and fourth vertebrae. He's undergone two surgeries since, to realign his spinal column and to remove bone fragments from around the injuries. Gazeta Online reports that he is in serious, but stable condition. Currently he has some movement in his shoulders and a small amount of sensation in his feet, but doctors are still unsure if he will ever regain movement in his limbs.

At the time of the tournament Diniz had been granted a pass to compete in the adult division, but as a result of his injuries, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation has advised the Espirito Santo State Jiu Jitsu Federation to no longer allow underage competitors to compete at the adult level. A representative for the Espirito Santo federation has stated that they plan implement strict age guidelines in the future.

For his part Diniz remains optimistic stating that he hopes to return to training soon, and someday be a world champion. He is hoping to be moved to the Hospital Sarah Kubitschek in Belo Horizonte, Brazil which is more specialized in treating severe neck injuries. We'll be sure to keep you updated as more news becomes available.

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