NATIONAL NEWS

College Gymnast Melanie Coleman Dies After A Fall On The Uneven Bars

Nov 12, 2019, 3:02 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 4:03 pm
A gymnast at Southern Connecticut State University died after sustaining an injury while training....
A gymnast at Southern Connecticut State University died after sustaining an injury while training.

(CNN) — A gymnast at Southern Connecticut State University who loved coaching children has died after a fall during practice.

Melanie Coleman fell during routine exercise on the uneven bars Friday, university spokesman Ken Sweeten said. She died Sunday.

“At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with Melanie’s family,” the university’s athletic director Jay Moran said Monday. “This has been devastating to her coaches and teammates.”

Coleman’s longtime personal coach, Thomas Alberti, called the incident “a complete accident.”

“It’s just not something that anybody can process,” he said.

Her family said she was the “light and love” of a large family.

“We are confident that her spirit, laughter, and humor will live on through the ones who loved her most, as well as through the gift of life to those who needed it most through organ donation.

A sport with many injuries

While a death in gymnastics is extremely rare, it’s happened before.

In 1988, 15-year-old Julissa Gomez became paralyzed after an accident on the vault. She died of complications from her injuries three years later.

About 100,000 gymnasts suffer injuries every year, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Common injuries include wrist fractures, cartilage damage and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.

And in the past 20 years, UPMC said, gymnasts have started the sport at earlier ages and are now performing more difficult skills.

‘A leader that everyone looked up to’

Coleman, 20, was pursuing a degree in nursing. She also taught part-time at Alberti’s gym, New Era Gymnastics.

“I was her full-time coach for 10 years,” Alberti said. “She was always a leader at my gym. She was the leader that everyone looked up to.”

Alberti said Coleman taught students ranging from ages 2 to 15.

Coleman came from a family of gymnasts. Her mother competed, as did her two older sisters.

“To her, it wasn’t about trying to get a better score. What made her a great gymnast is also what made her a great person,” Alberti said. “She had a desire to help everyone around her.”

Jerry Nelson, who recently retired as head coach at Southern Connecticut State, said Coleman was a joy to those around her.

“Melanie was an extraordinary young lady that positively touched all that knew her,” Nelson said in a statement. “Melanie was a true team player, a hard worker, and a true pleasure to coach.”

Coleman is survived by her parents and four siblings. By Tuesday morning, a GoFundMe account for the Coleman family has raised more than $53,000.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Bodycam video released by authorities shows the good Samaritan trying to help the man on the tracks...
Tavleen Tarrant, CNN

Good Samaritan, NYPD officers rescue man from subway tracks moments before train arrives

A good Samaritan, who was at the right place at the right time, and a team of New York City officers who rushed on scene rescued a man who fell on the subway tracks just seconds before an incoming train arrived, police said.
1 day ago
"White Christmas" is a movie that has a lot of behind-the-scenes lore. (Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstoc...
AJ Willingham, CNN

The secrets behind your favorite Christmas movie classics

Watching Christmas movies is a whole tradition unto itself. Get to know some of the fascinating stories behind the stories so you can watch your old favorites with fresh eyes.
1 day ago
A memorial is seen at the site of a fatal shooting in a Walmart on November 23, 2022 in Chesapeake,...
Ben Finley and and Matthew Barakat, Associated Press

Walmart shooter left ‘death note,’ bought gun day of killing

Authorities investigating the fatal shootings of six people at a Walmart said that the shooter bought the gun just hours before and left a note with grievances against coworkers on his phone.
1 day ago
A Ford sign sits outside of a dealership on January 25, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Ford Motor Co. a...
Associated Press

Ford recalls over 634K SUVs due to fuel leaks and fire risk

Ford is recalling over 634,000 SUVs worldwide because a cracked fuel injector can spill fuel or leak vapors onto a hot engine and cause fires.
1 day ago
The Twitter headquarters signage as seen on 10th Street on November 4, 2022 in San Francisco, Calif...
Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer

Musk plans to relaunch Twitter premium service, again

Elon Musk says that Twitter plans to relaunch its premium service that will offer different colored check marks to accounts next week.
1 day ago
Discount signs are displayed on products at a Macy's store during Black Friday on November 25, 2022...
Anne D'Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer

Inflation hovers over shoppers heading into Black Friday

Black Friday marks a return to familiar holiday shopping patterns, but inflation is weighing on consumers.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
College Gymnast Melanie Coleman Dies After A Fall On The Uneven Bars