Auburn Gymnast Who Suffered Injury to Both Legs Has Successful Surgery
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
April 9, 2019
The college gymnast who dislocated both knees and broke both her legs in a gruesome viral video is recovering from a successful surgery, Tigers gymnastics coach Jeff Graba says.
Samantha Cerio, a senior aerospace engineer at Auburn University underwent surgery on Monday that lasted for more than two hours. The operation was an "extreme success," Graba wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning.
"We know the road for full healing is going to be a long and difficult one, but we are confident that she’ll be able to make a complete recovery," Graba added.
Cerio was performing a floor exercise at the Baton Rouge Regional Semifinal when, while attempting to make a blind landing on a tumbling pass, the gymnast was unable to stick the landing. The impact dislocated both of her knees and broke both her legs.
After the injury, Cerio announced Sunday in a post on Instagram that she was retiring from the sport.
"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," Cerio wrote.
"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."
Cerio was one of the team's top performers, earning All-SEC awards in 2017 and 2018. An aerospace engineer at Auburn, the senior at Auburn has already accepted a job to work at Boeing in Seattle upon her graduation in May.