An Alabama college gymnast who broke both her legs during a competition over the weekend lashed out at people sharing and tagging her in videos of her fall.
“I am asking you to please stop,” Auburn University senior Samantha Cerio posted on Twitter Wednesday. “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.”
Cerio was trying to execute a handspring double front at Friday’s NCAA Regional Semifinal competition in Louisiana when she landed at an awkward angle on the mat causing her to fall backwards on the ground. She was taken off the floor in a stretcher.
Her coach Jeff Graba said the college gymnast dislocated both knees and tore multiple ligaments in her legs. She underwent a two-and-a-half hour surgery earlier this week and is recovering in the hospital.
“I have family, friends, and teammates who do not need to see me getting injured over and over again,” Cerio said on Twitter. “My pain is not your entertainment.”
Graba told NBC’s “Today” show that doctors expect Cerio to fully recover and the gymnast plans on walking down the aisle in two months at her wedding.
“She’s a trooper. She’s one of the strongest people I’ve ever met, I knew that beforehand and she’s just confirmed it,” he said. “She’ll get through this.
Days after her devastating injury, Cerio posted on Instagram that she was leaving the sport. Graba said that she was always planning to move on and did not do it because of her injury.
“After 18 years I am hanging up my grips and leaving the chalk behind,” Cerio wrote Sunday. “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 roadblocks that I would have never imagined that has tested who I am as a person.”
Cerio, who is studying aerospace engineering, graduates in May and has a job lined up with Boeing where she plans to work on rockets as a structural design analysis engineer.