The Auburn gymnast who severely injured both her legs on Friday night has announced her retirement from the sport.
Samantha Cerio said in an Instagram post on Sunday that her career “may not have ended the way I had planned, but nothing ever goes as planned.”
Cerio suffered multiple torn ligaments and dislocated both of her knees, and was expected to undergo surgery on Monday, according to Auburn coach Jeff Graba. Initial fears that she had broken her legs turned out to be unfounded.
The 22-year-old college senior landed awkwardly during her floor routine at the NCAA Regional Semifinal in Louisiana. She was treated for 10 minutes before being carted off the floor at the Baton Rouge arena.
Auburn was able to advance despite Cerio’s injuries, but was eliminated on Saturday night during the next round.
Cerio said in her social media post that Friday night “was my final night as a gymnast.”
“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.”
She added that the sport has taught her “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,” she said.
The aerospace engineering major is heading to a job at Boeing after she graduates later this spring.
“What a wonderful, inspiring young lady," tweeted LSU president F. King Alexander, who visited her in the hospital. “I have no doubt she will overcome this injury and go on to do amazing things.”