• College gymnast from Huntersville who broke legs grateful for support

    By: Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    BATON ROUGE, La. -

    A gymnast from Auburn University injured her legs Friday while competing in a NCAA regional event in Louisiana.

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    According to the Times-Picayune and ESPN, Samantha Cerio, a senior aerospace engineering major from North Carolina, was performing her floor routine at the Baton Rouge Regional when she launched into a handspring double front and landed too soon. The impact dislocated her knees.

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    "It was pretty tough to watch. She's a trooper," Auburn coach Jeff Graba said of Cerio, who was carried out of the arena on a stretcher. 

    Her team, which went on to compete in the regional final but failed to advance to the national championships, showed support for Cerio on social media with the hashtag #StickItForSam.

    In an Instagram post Sunday, Cerio announced that the competition marked her "final night as a gymnast."

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    "After 18 years I am hanging up my grips and leaving the chalk behind," she wrote. "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."

    She continued: "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."

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    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

    Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to say Cerio dislocated her knees, but did not break her legs.

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