A video of Cerio breaking both her legs went viral after she missed a landing during a floor routine. The footage was taken while she was attempting to perform a handspring double front during the NCAA Regional Semifinals in Louisiana.
Cero said it was “my final night as a gymnast,” according to an Instagram post on April 7. “After 18 years, I am hanging up my grips and leaving the chalk behind,” she said.
There will be no triumphant comeback for the Auburn gymnast who broke both of her legs during a floor routine at the NCAA Regional Semifinals.
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“It may not have ended the way I had planned, but nothing ever goes as planned,” the senior added.
“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.”
Of her injury, “It was pretty tough to watch,” Auburn coach Jeff Graba said, reported 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,” he told the news website, adding that he’s never seen anything like this in decades of coaching.
The Auburn team finished with an overall score of 197.075 and advanced to the regional final. But the reports indicated that the team came up short during the regional finals and finished fourth place.
Cerio issued a statement on Twitter after the injury, saying, “I love my team #WarEagle.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the young lady who received terrible injuries to her legs, in competition yesterday….
“I think we were out of gas,” Graba said after the final. “Emotionally spent. But I thought the girls fought hard. They did a great job.”
According to the New York Post, after the injury she was screaming in pain and clutched both her legs before she was tended to by medical staff on the premises. The meet was delayed while medical workers put splints on both of her legs. They carried her out of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center to a standing ovation.
Auburn added that Cerio underwent surgery, reported The Associated Press. Meanwhile, NOLA.com reported that she had broken both legs.
— sam_cerio (@sam_cerio) April 6, 2019
Graba said Cerio suffered two dislocated knees during the competition, adding that Dr. James Andrews would operate on the athlete on Monday for injuries that include multiple torn ligaments in both knees.
Cerio also issued a statement saying she’s doing well and resting.
Video footage of her injury can be seen below.
(Warning: Very graphic footage):
The Associated Press contributed to this report.