Samantha Cerio, a leading gymnast from Alabama’s Auburn University, suffered a career-ending accident during a floor routine at the Baton Rouge Regional NCAA gymnastics event last week.
While performing a blind landing after a handspring double front, Cerio says she “reached for the ground a little too early.”
The young athlete came down hard on the mat and disclocated both of her knees simultaneously.
Cerio screamed in agony as trainers and medical staff rushed onto the floor. Unable to stand, Cerio was escorted off the floor on a stretch to a standing ovation from the supporting crowd.
While recovering from her injuries, Cerio announced her retirement from the sport.
“After 18 years I am hanging up my grips and leaving the chalk behind,” she said on Instagram. “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.”
Cerio had been recently named an SEC co-scholar athlete of the year. She will continue to pursue her aerospace engineering degree at Aubrun.