The senior went for her first tumbling pass, attempting a handspring double front according to ESPN , landed awkwardly, and fell to the ground clutching both legs in pain. She was carried off the mat on a stretcher, and it was later revealed that she broke both of her legs and dislocated both knees. WARNING: The video footage is pretty gruesome.
On Sunday, Cerio gave us all the feels when she took to Instagram saying that Friday was her final night as a gymnast.
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 couldnt be prouder of the person that gymnastics has made me to become. Its taught me hard work, humility, integrity, and dedication, just to name a few. Its 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
And despite the horrific ending to her career, shes proud of how far shes come and so, so thankful for the support shes received from friends, family, and fans far and wide.
All, I wanted to reach out and thank everyone who has sent me encouraging messages. I truly appreciate all of the support and prayers that I have have received! I am doing well right now and getting lots of rest! From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much! - sam_cerio (@sam_cerio) April 8, 2019
Talk about having some grace, right? Mustve been super difficult, to end her college career like this. The good news? The aerospace engineering major recently told the school newspaper that shes looking forward to life after gymnastics come graduation in May, and that she already has a job as a structural design analysis engineer with Boeing in Seattle.
"[My parents] reminded me that gymnastics will end eventually, and you need to have something to fall back on, something that you can be passionate about just as equally."
Sending all of the healing vibes your way, Sam! You get a 10.0 from us.