Injured Gymnast Sets Goal: To Walk Down Aisle at Her Wedding

By Jack Phillips

NEW YORK—An Auburn University gymnast who suffered career-ending injuries to both her knees says her goals now include walking down the aisle at her wedding, which is in about two months.

Earlier this month, during an NCAA regional semifinal in Louisiana, Samantha Cerio’s knees bent in an unnatural way when she attempted a landing during a gymnastics routine.

Cerio 22, an aerospace engineering major from North Carolina is also preparing to graduate and has accepted a job with Boeing as a structural design analysis engineer.

She discussed her future plans in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show that aired Monday. Speaking from a wheelchair, Cerio said: “It’s looking real good.

“I know I’m going to do everything in my power to make it happen,” she said in regards to her pending marriage.

“We’re going to work hard for it,” she told the outlet.

Immediately after her traumatic landing, Cerio thought something was a “little wrong” before she saw her legs. She had dislocated both knees.

“I could feel my pass was off by just a little… usually even if they feel off, I can get through,” she added.

Samantha Cerio is staying upbeat as she continues to heal from surgery.

Posted by People on Wednesday, April 10, 2019

“Then, that’s when I saw what had happened, that’s when like the pain kind of started to set in and it got worse,” Cerio continued.

Despite her severe injury, Cerio said she is looking forward to the future.

“I’m really excited just because I have so many positive things coming up. I mean, this is a small setback, but it’s… just another thing to get through,” she added. “Even though that was my last gymnastics meet, everything we do, everything I have done and trained for Auburn has always been for my team. Just knowing that I have their support behind me 100 percent… that’s always helped me.”

Auburn senior Samantha Cerio said the constant circulation of the clip is affecting her and those close to her.

Posted by USA TODAY on Thursday, April 11, 2019

A few days after her injury, Cerio wrote on Instagram that she is retiring from the sport.

In a subsequent post, she also implored social media users not to share or post the gruesome video showing her injury.

“Those of you posting and tagging me in the video of my injury, I am asking you to please stop,” she wrote on Twitter on April 10.

She added: “Going through the pain and seeing my knees bent unnaturally in real life was horrible enough, but to continue to see it from videos/pictures because some people feel entitled to repost it is not okay. I have family, friends, and teammates who do not need to see me getting injured over and over again. My pain is not your entertainment,” the statement continued.

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 Samantha Cerio (@sam_cerio) on

According to WebMD, a dislocated knee means that the bones around that joint have been jolted out of place with a lot of force.

Auburn’s gymnastics coach said Cerio suffered dislocations and torn ligaments in both knees in a gruesome injury during an NCAA regional semifinal in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this month.

“Dislocated knees are rare, but they’re severe. Other parts of your knee might also have been damaged at the same time. You need to see a doctor right away in order to get back on the road to recovery,” the website says.

They’re usually the result of car accidents, hard falls, and sports injuries, the site states, adding that it’s quite painful.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

From The Epoch Times