BATON ROUGE – A star gymnast at Auburn University had to be carted out of Friday’s NCAA gymnastics regional in Baton Rouge on a stretcher after breaking both her legs and dislocating both her knees during her floor routine.
Samantha Cerio, a 5-foot senior from Huntersville, North Carolina, was attempting a handspring double front on her first tumbling pass when she landed awkwardly and suffered the gruesome injury.
Trainers and medical staff tended to Cerio for almost 10 minutes before she was taken off the floor on a stretcher. Auburn officials have not confirmed the severity of the injuries, but NOLA.com is reporting Cerio dislocated both of her knees and broke both of her legs.
Shortly after the injury, Cerio tweeted: “I love my team.” On Sunday, Cerio shared a photo on Instagram of flowers and balloons inside her hospital room with the caption:
“Thank you to everyone who has sent support, love, and blessings! I am so grateful!”
Cerio was recently named the SEC co-scholar athlete of the year.
WARNING: The video below is graphic.
Despite Cerio’s injury, Auburn advanced on Friday. The team was eliminated in the regional final on Saturday.
In a statement posted on Instagram late Sunday, Cerio said “Friday night was my final night as a gymnast:”
“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”