WARNING: The video in this story is graphic
BATON ROUGE, La. — A star gymnast at Auburn University had to be carted out of Friday’s NCAA gymnastics regional in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on a stretcher after breaking both her legs and dislocating both her knees during her floor routine.
Samantha Cerio, a 5-foot senior from Huntersville, North Carolina, was attempting a handspring double front on her first tumbling pass when she landed awkwardly and suffered the gruesome injury.
Trainers and medical staff tended to Cerio for almost 10 minutes before she was taken off the floor on a stretcher. Auburn officials have not confirmed the severity of the injuries, but NOLA.com is reporting Cerio dislocated both of her knees and broke both of her legs.
Shortly after the injury, Cerio tweeted: “I love my team.” On Sunday, Cerio shared a photo on Instagram of flowers and balloons inside her hospital room with the caption:
“Thank you to everyone who has sent support, love, and blessings! I am so grateful!”
Cerio was recently named the SEC co-scholar athlete of the year.
WARNING: The video below is graphic
Despite Cerio’s injury, Auburn advanced on Friday. The team was eliminated in the regional final on Saturday.
“Sam is just so passionate in everything she does, especially with this team,” senior Abby Milliet told AuburnTigers.com. “So I circled everybody together and I said, ‘We’re not going to do this. We’re not going to get sad. We can be sad later because it is sad. But we’re going to do what she would want us to do and light this fire. This is time for us to have a new fire. Sam wouldn’t want us to give up. She would fight harder.'”
On Sunday, Cerio released a statement on Instagram, saying Friday was her last night as a gymnast, but “I couldn’t be prouder of the person that gymnastics has made me.”
“It may not have ended the way I planned, but nothing ever goes as planned,” she said.