The Auburn University gymnast who suffered horrific leg injuries on video that went viral opened up Monday about the moment she knew “something was a little wrong.”
In her first interview since dislocating both her knees, Samantha Cerio told the “Today” show that the reality of her injuries didn’t immediately hit her.
“When I had landed that one, I felt like something was a little wrong, and I thought I had just hyperextended my knees until I looked down, and that wasn’t the case,” Cerio said.
“That’s when I saw what happened, and the pain started to set in,” Cerio said. “It was a big, ‘Oh shoot, what just happened?’ ”
Stomach-churning footage showed the 22-year-old fall hard to the mat during a floor routine earlier this month at the Baton Rouge Regional NCAA meet.
The injury occurred while Cerio was attempting a handspring double front flip with a blind landing.
Cerio — who appeared on “Today” in a wheelchair — said the video’s takeover of the internet has forced her to keep reliving the accident.
“When you see something like that, you want to watch it just to see what happens because you’re curious about it,” Cerio said of viewers. “But at the same time, you don’t think about the people it could impact.”
The gymnast has since announced her retirement from the sport. Heading into the meet, Cerio said she had no idea the routine would be her last.
“I didn’t think anything was off,” Cerio said. “There’s just a lot of energy in the arena. Everything felt normal.”
But while she’s now forced to abandon her gymnastics career, the college senior said she’s set on following through on other post-graduation plans, including walking down the aisle at her wedding in June.
“I know I’m going to do everything to make it happen,” she said. “My fiance is helping me do whatever I need to help me get through the day-to-day things. We’re going to work hard for it.”
Warning: Footage is gruesome