Get ready to cringe.
On Friday night, Auburn University gymnast Sam Cerio competed in the NCAA Regional Semifinals in Baton Rouge.
During her first pass on the floor exercise, something went horribly wrong.
The 22-year-old performed a handspring double front, and she mistimed her landing.
Coming in too high, holy cow…she appeared to hyperextend her knees.
As reported by the Times-Picayune, Sam broke both her legs, in addition to dislocating — and tearing multiple ligaments in — both knees.
She was carried off on a stretcher in two aircasts.
The injury was gruesome.
— Coach Jeff Graba (@CoachJeffGraba) April 8, 2019
Her Instagram post began with an unsurprising announcement:
“Friday night was my final night as a gymnast.”
A startling end to a two-decades career:
View this post on Instagram
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 💙🧡
Prayers up for Sam Cerio 🙏
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) April 6, 2019
Fortunately, the senior will soon have an aerospace engineering degree to fall back on. In fact, she’s already secured a job with Boeing in Seattle.
Sam’s team was rattled by the tragedy, but the Tigers went on to score their second-highest of the season.
About the accident, Sam’s coach, Jeff Graba, definitely understated it:
“It was pretty tough to watch.”
If you have the will to view it, find the video below. But BE WARNED: IT’S GRAPHIC. My knees are still hurting.
Good luck to Samantha during this time of healing, and in her future endeavors.
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