NCAA Womens Gymnastics

Auburn's Samantha Cerio smiles and signals to the crowd before competing on the uneven parallel bars during the NCAA college women's gymnastics championships Friday, April 14, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(Meredith) -- Samantha Cerio, a senior at Auburn University, says she's giving up gymnastics after breaking both legs while competing in the NCAA region final on Friday.

Cerio reportedly broke both legs and dislocated both knees while attempting a blind landing, where the gymnast can't see the floor before attempting to land. Cerio's coach, Jeff Graba, told the Times-Picayune, she even executed the skill well, just going slightly too high and reaching the ground a little too early. "It was pretty tough to watch," Graba said.

Cerio appears to be staying positive after the awful injury, although she says she's finished with gymnastics. She posted to Instagram Sunday saying, "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."

Described as the heart and soul of the gymnastics team, Cerio is said to be a role model for her teammates. She's majoring in aerospace engineering, and plans to accept a job at Boeing when she graduates in May.

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(1) comment

Dean

She sounds like a wonderful young lady with the ability to recover completely.

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