After Breaking Both Knees, Auburn Gymnast Samantha Cerio Sets Goal to Walk Down Wedding Aisle
Auburn gymnast Samantha Cerio dislocated both knees and tore multiple ligaments during a routine
Less than one week after a devastating injury to both legs, Auburn University gymnast Samantha Cerio has one goal in mind: walking down the aisle at her wedding in two months.
Last Friday, Cerio, 22, broke both knees and tore multiple ligaments during a routine in Louisiana, which attracted national attention to the Auburn senior. After her successful surgery, Samantha’s coach, Jeff Graba, told NBC News that her wedding is her current priority.
“She wants to walk down the aisle and get married, and we’re hoping she can do that,” Graba told NBC News.
Cerio received an outpouring of support after video of the horrible injury went viral. Graba, who witnessed the incident, said it was “one of the toughest nights of my life.”
Following the devastating fall, Cerio’s teammates finished the meet with a score of 197.075 — the highest regional score in team history.
Although the injury marks the end of her gymnastics career, Cerio remained positive about her experience and shared a heartwarming Instagram message to her followers.
“Friday night was my final night as a gymnast,” the caption began. “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.”
She also thanked her teammates in the post, saying, “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’s fiancé, Trey Wood, thanked fans in an Instagram for their support of his soon-to-be wife, saying, “So thankful for all the kind words and prayers from all our friends and family. @sam_cerio is too tough and stubborn to keep down.”
Along with her upcoming wedding, Cerio’s future is not dampened despite her injury. She was named the Southeastern Conference co-scholar athlete of the year. In addition, according to the Auburn Tiger’s website, she has already accepted a job in Seattle at Boeing, where she will work on rockets as a structural design analysis engineer.