The college gymnast who severely injured both of her legs at a competition earlier this month said she’s hopeful she’ll be able to walk down the aisle at her wedding this summer.
In her first interview since she dislocated both of her knees during a tumbling routine, Auburn senior Samantha Cerio told NBC’s “Today” show on Monday that she’s excited about some of the “positive things” coming up in her life — including graduation, a job opportunity with Boeing and the prospect of walking down the aisle at her wedding ceremony in June.
“I know I’m really stubborn,” Cerio said of walking down the aisle, “and I know I’m going to do everything in my power to make it happen.”
Cerio had surgery last week to repair her injuries, which included extensive ligament damage in addition to the dislocated knees. She suffered the injuries during an NCAA regional semifinal meet on April 5, and subsequently announced that she was retiring from competitive gymnastics.
Cerio told the “Today” show that she didn’t think there was anything unusual about that routine, or that competition. She felt “a little off” while in the air but said she’s normally able to pull off that sequence — or, at worst, “end up on my butt.”
“I felt like something was a little wrong (when I landed),” Cerio said on the “Today” show. “I thought I had just hyperextended my knees, until I looked down and that wasn’t the case. So that’s when, when I saw what had happened, that’s when the pain started to set in and it got worse.”
Video of the incident circulated on social media last week while Cerio began the recovery process, prompting the gymnast to release a message on Twitter urging people to stop viewing and sharing the video. She said it was impacting those close to her and forcing her to relive a difficult moment in her life, adding “my pain is not your entertainment.”
Cerio told the “Today” show that she believes her request has caused people to reevaluate what they view and share online.
“I think it’s made people more aware of what they see on the internet,” Cerio said. “I think it brings more awareness of when you see something like that, you kind of want to watch it just to see what happens because you’re curious about it. But at the same time, you don’t think about the people that it could impact — whether it’s that person’s friends or family, or that person.”
Contact Tom Schad at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.