An Auburn University gymnast says she has retired following a gruesome fall during competition in which she broke both of her legs and dislocated both her knees while performing the floor routine.
Samantha Cerio of Huntsville, North Carolina was attempting a handspring double front with a blind landing on her first tumbling pass when she made the hard landing and fell to the mat.
While no official diagnosis of her injuries has been released, the New Orleans Times-Picayune cited sources saying Cerio dislocated both of her knees and broke both of her legs.
Cerio had to be carted out of Friday’s NCAA gymnastics regional on a stretcher.
“It was pretty tough to watch,” Auburn coach Jeff Graba said after the meet to Nola.com. “She’s a trooper. The last thing she said was, ‘Go help the girls.’ The girls rallied around her. They’re doing this for her right now.”
Warning: The video is graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.
In an emotional post to Instagram two days after the incident, Cerio announced her retirement from gymnastics.
“After 18 years I am hanging up my grips and leaving the chalk behind. I couldn’t be prouder of the person that gymnastics has made me to become… It may not have ended the way I had planned, but nothing ever goes as planned,” she wrote in the lengthy Instagram post.
Friday night was my final night as a gymnast. After 18 years I am hanging up my grips and leaving the chalk behind. I couldn’t be prouder of the person that gymnastics has made me to become. It’s taught me hard work, humility, integrity, and dedication, just to name a few. It’s given me challenges and road blocks that I would have never imagined that has tested who I am as a person. It may not have ended the way I had planned, but nothing ever goes as planned. Thank you Auburn family for giving me a home and a chance to continue doing the sport that will always be my first love. I am honored to have had the privilege to represent the navy and orange AU for the past 4 years with my team by my side. Thank you for letting me share my passion with you. Thank you for letting me be a part of something bigger than myself. War Eagle Always 💙🧡