Star gymnast dies in freak accident after slipping on bars

A star gymnast has died after suffering a serious spinal injury during training.

Melanie Coleman, 20, of Milford, in the US state of Connecticut, was training Friday at New Era Gymnastics in Hamden when she was injured, according to her mother Susan Coleman.

The 20-year-old slipped on uneven bars, WFSB-TV reported.

Ms Coleman was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital but died Sunday (local time).

“She’s from a very large, loving family; there’s seven of us, we were the Coleman seven,” Susan Coleman said. “We spent every day together for the past 20 years.”

Melanie Coleman, 20, is pictured performing gymnastics.
Melanie Coleman, 20, died after suffering a gymnastics training injury. Source: SCSU Athletics via News 12 Connecticut/ NBC

The mum volunteered at the gym where the tragic accident occurred.

People who knew the family from traveling to gymnastics events around the country have been providing support that is “holding us up,” the grieving mum said.

She described her children, which also include two sons older than Melanie, as “inseparable.”

“We’re going to leave an empty space in our photos for her from now on.”

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Friend Ashlei Roux described Ms Coleman as “an amazing gymnast”.

“(She) always knew how to cheer someone up when they weren’t having a good day,” Ms Roux wrote on Facebook

Ms Coleman was a former All State gymnast at Jonathan Law High School in Milford and was captain of the school’s gymnastics team.

She was named a Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association Scholastic All-American this year.

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Her former club coach, Tom Alberti, said she attained a level 10, the highest level in the USA Junior Olympics Program.

Her coaches and professors described her as a special young woman who excelled in both the classroom and gym, college President Joe Berolino said in a written statement.

She was also studying nursing, following in the footsteps of her two older sisters, her mother said.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help support her family.

With The Associated Press

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