Milford gymnast dies following training accident

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The state's gymnastics community is mourning the loss of a young woman from Milford who died after a training accident.

Melanie Coleman was a junior who competed for Southern Connecticut State University.

Her coach, Tom Alberti, says the 20-year-old was the team captain, most valuable player and an All-State selection at Jonathan Law High School before attending university.

Coleman died Sunday evening, two days after her youth coach said she slipped off the uneven bars. The accident happened during practice with her college teammates.

She spent many hours training at New Era Gymnastics in Hamden. Coleman and her two older sisters all have their names embedded on banners at the gym.
The gym's owner, who coached Coleman since she was 10 years old, says she was a role model for the younger gymnasts.

"To remember Melanie is to remember her joy and how happy that this sport would make her and how much she loved teaching the children and giving what she had to make others better," said Alberti.

Coleman's family released a statement saying. 

“Our lovely Melanie comes from an amazing large family. She was and will continue to be our light and love. She was a loving daughter, sister, cousin, teammate, and best friend. 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.
We are humbled by the outpouring support from our Milford community (our small town with a big heart) and beyond. She will be sadly and deeply missed by all those who crossed paths with her. The family asks for privacy during this time of healing. “


The principal of Jonathan Law released a statement that reads in part, "Even though she was busy with her college work and commitments, she continued to give back to the Law community, helping our younger gymnasts along the way...The Coleman family has deep roots here – they're family -- and we send our sincerest condolences to them."

A GoFundMe page has been set up in support of Coleman's family.

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