Auburn gymnast Sam Cerio breaks both legs during routine, retires

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Auburn gymnast Samantha Cerio announced on social media she competed in her last gymnastics event after suffering a gruesome injury at the Baton Rouge regional on Friday.

“Friday night was my final night as a gymnast,” Cerio said. “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.”

WARNING: Video is gruesome

According to The Times-Picayune, Cerio dislocated both of her knees and broke both of her legs on her first pass as Auburn’s floor exercise anchor. Her routine required a blind landing, which means the gymnast can’t see the ground before they land. This move carries risk, but usually doesn’t end the way it did for Cerio.

“It was pretty tough to watch,” Auburn coach Jeff Graba told The Times-Picayune. “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. I gave her a hug, told her I hugged her before she left and said we’d catch back up tonight.”

 
 
 

 
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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 💙🧡

A post shared by Sam Cerio (@sam_cerio) on

Cerio had a great career at Auburn as a gymanst. Just take a quick look at her accolades:

  • 2018 All-SEC
  • 2018 SEC Academic Honor Roll 
  • 2017 All-SEC 
  • 2017 SEC Academic Honor Roll 
  • 2016 SEC All-Freshman Team
  • 2016 First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Cerio has a major in aerospace engineering, but in a March interview with Auburn, she explained why she wants to be viewed as more than just an athlete or a good student.

“We’re not just people who do sports and that’s all that matters to them because it’s not. It’s one layer to a multi-layered personality,” Cerio said. “I just want to be able to show people that student-athletes are able to do more things than just look at themselves and focus on their sports. They’re able to focus on things like school. They’re able to focus on their community and how they treat people and what they do around them and being self-aware that what they do impacts other people.”