A 22-year-old Auburn University gymnast Samantha Cerio, who broke her legs during a floor routine at the NCAA Regional Semifinals, has retired from the sport.
Cerio had hoped to deliver a perfect performance at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, Los Angeles to help the Auburn Tigers secure a spot in the NCAA’s region final.
Instead, she landed awkwardly after a tumbling pass and fell as her legs crumbled beneath her during a so-called blind landing — in what many have called the worst sports-related injury they have ever seen.
However, Auburn went on to advance to the Regional Final, but Cerio says Friday was “my final night as a gymnast.”
The Auburn senior says she learned a lot from the sport — including hard work, humility, integrity and dedication, but has ultimately decided to move on.
Cerio issued a statement saying, “After 18 years I am hanging up my grips and leaving the chalk behind.”
“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.”