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Star Auburn Gymnast Breaks Both Her Legs In Gruesome Landing During Competition

Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There is nothing worse than the sound of bones crunching from a hard impact, except if the sound is coming from your own legs.

For a gymnast, your legs are everything, and Samantha Cerio felt like she lost it all during the NCAA Regional Semifinal in Baton Rouge.


The senior Auburn gymnast was attempting a handspring double front, which requires a blind landing, when she broke both her legs.

Here is Cerio's attempt at a first pass followed by the gruesome landing.

WARNING: The following video is very graphic and difficult to watch.

Auburn Gymnastics: Samantha Cerio Breaks Both Legs www.youtube.com

Her coach Jeff Graba told Nola.com he has never seen an injury as extreme as Cerio's in all his coaching career since the 1980s.



The senior from Huntersville, North Carolina clutched both her legs and screamed in agony as she sat upright on the mat.

She was carried off in a stretcher by LSU's expert medical staff after Cerio reportedly dislocated both her knees and broke both legs.



Cerio – who is an aerospace engineering major and won All-SEC awards in 2017 and 2018 – received a standing ovation as she left the arena with air casts on.


Graba called her a "trooper" after witnessing the horrific injury.

"It was pretty tough to watch. She's a trooper."
"The last thing she said was, 'Go help the girls.' The girls rallied around her. They're doing this for her right now."


Senior Auburn gymnast Abby Milliet recalled rounding up her teammates, the Tigers, and consoling them in the wake of the incident by encouraging they all focus with a "new fire."

"'Y'all. I know we want to feel sad for Sam right now, but this is not what she would have wanted.'. Sam has put everything into this and she's going to want us to give everything. This is our new fire."

Coach Graba added:

"I gave her a hug, told her I hugged her before she left and said we'd catch back up tonight."

One user discovered she was slated to get married in two months.



Twitter wished for her speedy recovery.






Cerio's injury reminded everyone that these skilled athletes are some of the most extraordinary people.



Graba noted Cerio's well-executed pass was a little too high, contributing to her miscalculated blind landing. He encouraged the team to stay focused, reminding them that the slightest distraction could result in another injury.

Auburn's overall score was 197.075, the second highest for the Tigers all season and qualified them for the Saturday's Regional Final against LSU, Minnesota and Utah.

We, here at Comic Sands wish for Samantha's speedy recovery.

You're still our champion, Samantha!