The 22-year-old showed grace and poise in a recent TODAY show segment.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
April 16, 2019
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Earlier this month, Auburn University gymnast Samantha Cerio suffered a career-ending injury when she dislocated both knees and tore multiple ligaments during her floor routine at the NCAA Regionals in Baton Rouge. While her time on the mat may be over, the 22-year-old gymnast and aerospace engineering major is showing the world that inner strength is the most important thing.

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"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," she captioned a series of photos she recently shared on Instagram, along with an expression of gratitude to her orange-and-navy family.

Following the gymnast's injury, a video of her flubbed landing attracted a lot of attention. Cerio took to Twitter to express her thoughts in a powerful, eloquent manner, per Yahoo News: “Those of you posting and tagging me in the video of my injury, I am asking you to please stop. 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. I have family, friends, and teammates who do not need to see me getting injured over and over again. My pain is not your entertainment.” (Cerio's Twitter account has since been made private).

The young athlete also appeared on the TODAY show to open about the effects social media has had on her since sustaining her injuries. "I think it's made people more aware of what they see on the internet,'' she told TODAY. "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." Watch the full clip below.

For now, the Auburn tiger is channeling the things and people that matter — she's already set her sights on walking down the aisle at her wedding to a fellow AU classmate later this year.