NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – A student at Southern Connecticut State University died from a gymnastics training accident on Friday.
Melanie Coleman, a nursing student, died Sunday, two days after suffering a serious spinal injury after slipping uneven bars.
She was training on a device she had worked on a thousand times.
“Her coaches and teachers describe Melanie as a special young woman, who excelled both in the classroom and in the gym,” said SCSU President Joe Bertolino. “Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends on this tragic loss.”
The 20-year-old, from Milford, was named a Scholastic All-American this year.
For those who knew Mélanie, her sudden and tragic death, while doing something she loved, was overwhelming.
“Remembering Melanie is remembering her joy and how happy sport would make her, and how much she loved teaching children and giving what she had to improve others,” said Thomas Alberti, of New Era Gymnastics.
Her private trainer said she reached Level 10 status in the US Junior Olympic program, a cut below gymnasts seen competing on television.
“People from all over Connecticut contacted me and a lot of them knew Melanie because she was such a high level gymnast, she was well known across the state of CT,” Alberti said.
She was also an All-State Fellow at Jonathan Law High School in Milford and was named a Scholastic All-American in Southern.
Not only was she talented, but she also continued to give back by coaching and mentoring young gymnasts at the gym where she grew up training.
“Every gymnast, we probably have 75 kids on the team, and they all admired her, wanting to follow in her footsteps, both because of her skill level and the gymnast she was and she always took the lead. time to talk even to the little ones, ”said Alberti.
Family members say Coleman was able to help others by being an organ donor.
“When I heard the news it hurt my heart because it’s like, fuck, she was a really good person. Hearing that, I feel bad,” Sharayad Letellier said, Coleman’s friend.
The university offers consulting services at Engleman Hall, room B219, or by calling 203-392-5475 to make an appointment.
For more information on consulting services, Click here. Any student in need of support can also turn to the Residence Life Staff or the Office of the Dean of Students.
A GoFundMe page has been created which can be found here.
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