US college gymnast Sam Cerio breaks both legs during routine

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Other Sport,
Publish Date
Monday, 8 April 2019, 5:56PM

WARNING: This video contains graphic content.

Supporters from across the globe have rallied behind a US athlete who suffered a horror injury during her floor routine at an NCAA gymnastics regional event.

Auburn University student Sam Cerio was attempting a handspring double front with a blind landing when she made the hard landing and fell to the mat at the Baton Rouge Regionals at the weekend.

She dislocated both of her knees and broke both of her legs - and was left screaming in agony on the floor as teammates and officials rushed to her aid.

The New York Post reported Cerio had air casts around both her legs and was carried on a stretcher from the venue - to a standing ovation.

Auburn coach Jeff Graba told Nola.com he had never seen an injury as severe as Cerio's.

"It was pretty tough to watch," Graba said.

"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."

Graba described Cerio as the "heart and soul" of the team.

Cerio, who specialises in floor and bars, was recently named an SEC co-scholar athlete of the year, according to the Auburn Tigers website.

The team and its supporters have since shown support for the aerospace engineering major with the hashtag #StickItForSam" on social media.

Auburn finished fourth overall at the event, with Graba saying they were "emotionally spent" after the sickening incident.

Cerio announced her retirement from gymnastics in an Instagram post on Monday (NZT), saying "it may not have ended the way I had planned, but nothing ever goes as planned".

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 💙🧡

A post shared by Sam Cerio (@sam_cerio) on Apr 7, 2019 at 10:30am PDT

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