Gymnastics deaths are rare, but previous disasters have prompted safety changes

Updated 2350 GMT (0750 HKT) November 13, 2019

(CNN)In this sport, a tiny miscalculation can mean the difference between victory and catastrophe.

And as difficulty levels soar to new heights, so do the risks of serious injury.
When Melanie Coleman, a gymnast at Southern Connecticut State University, died after falling off the uneven bars, veterans of the sport were stunned.
College gymnast Melanie Coleman, 20, was a nursing student and a part-time gymnastics instructor.
"It's just not something that anybody can process," her longtime personal coach Thomas Alberti said.
While a death in gymnastics is extremely rare, it's happened before.

An Olympic hopeful's tragedy helps change the sport

At 15, Julissa Gomez was on track to pursue her dream of competing in the Olympics. But just months before the 1988 Seoul Olympics, she slipped on a springboard that was supposed to propel her over the vaulting horse -- the table that vaulters bounce their hands off of before flipping in the air.