College Gymnast Dies After Falling From Uneven Parallel Bars During Practice

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Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Melanie Coleman, an accomplished gymnast at Southern Connecticut State University, passed away Sunday as the result of a fall from the uneven parallel bars.

Coleman, 20, was rushed to Yale-New Haven hospital after she fell during training Friday at New Era Gymnastics in Hamden, Connecticut. According to reports, she suffered an injury to her spinal cord.

SCSU posted a tribute to Coleman on Monday afternoon after learning that she had passed.

“Southern Connecticut State University Athletics is saddened to learn of the passing of gymnastics student-athlete Melanie Coleman, 20, of Milford, Conn. Coleman passed on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019 after sustaining an injury during training on Friday, Nov. 8,” the caption read.

The caption included a call for donations and support for the Coleman family and concluded, “#AlwaysAnOwl #AlwaysFamily.”

Susan Coleman told reporters that her daughter, a junior at SCSU, had been studying nursing and was a volunteer at the gym where she was injured. “She’s from a very large, loving family; there’s seven of us, we were the Coleman seven. We spent every day together for the past 20 years.”

Coleman went on to say that, in the future, they would leave an empty space for Melanie in family photos. (RELATED: Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, 20, retires after a knee injury derailed her comeback)

SCSU Director of Athletics Jay Moran added, “At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with Melanie’s family. This has been devastating to her coaches and teammates and we hope to support them in this very difficult time. Melanie was a very bright student, an excellent athlete and involved member of the Southern Connecticut community. The entire Southern athletics family is greatly saddened by her loss.”