Samantha Cerio is looking ahead to the future. The 22-year-old gymnast and senior at Auburn University suffered a horrific injury during her floor routine and is done with gymnastics. The initial assessment was that Cerio broke both her legs and dislocated both knees, it was not quite so bad but still really gruesome. Cerio suffered multiple torn ligaments and two dislocated knees, but her legs did not break.
Cerio had successful surgery on Monday, and her coach Jeff Graba says she will make a full recovery. It's a long road ahead, and Samantha has plenty of goals that don't involve gymnastics as she moves forward. She's an aerospace engineering student and the SEC's co-scholar-athlete of the year. She has already accepted a job with Boeing and will soon be moving to Seattle. She's also engaged and plans to marry in just a couple of months. Her coach told NBC News that she's determined to walk down the aisle at her wedding.
"She wants to walk down the aisle and get married, and we're hoping she can do that."
Following the injury, she posted a message on Instagram, telling her followers that she's now a retired 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.
"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.
"War Eagle Always"
It's not easy to move on from something you love, but Samantha Cerio seems ready to face a new chapter -- a new marriage, a new career, and an exciting life ahead in the Northwest. We wish her the best.