Mary Lou Retton Health 2023

Mary Lou Retton Health 2023: The world was recently shocked to hear the news about Mary Lou Retton, the American gymnastics icon who is currently battling a rare form of pneumonia. Her daughter, McKenna Kelley, made a heartfelt plea for support on an online fundraiser, shedding light on her mother’s critical condition. In this article, we will take a closer look at the life of Mary Lou Retton, from her early inspirations to her incredible achievements in the world of gymnastics.

Mary Lou Retton Health 2023 – Early Life and Inspiration

Mary Lou Retton, born on January 24, 1968, hails from Fairmont, West Virginia. Her journey into the world of gymnastics was ignited by the remarkable performance of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Eager to follow in Comăneci’s footsteps, Retton relocated to Houston to train under the guidance of gymnastics coaches Béla and Márta Károlyi, who had previously coached Comăneci in Romania.

Mary Lou Retton Health 2023
Mary Lou Retton of the United States raises her arms on completion of her Floor routine in the Women’s Team All-Around competition on 3rd August 1984 during the XXIII Olympic Summer Games at the Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, United States.

Mary Lou Retton Health 2023 – Olympic Glory

Mary Lou Retton’s name is synonymous with Olympic success. She boasts an impressive five Olympic medals, with her crowning achievement being the all-around gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. At just 16 years old, she made history as the first American woman to be named an Olympic all-around champion. Her victory was nothing short of sensational, as she scored perfect 10s on floor exercise and vault, ultimately defeating Romania’s Ecaterina Szabo by a mere 0.05 points. What makes this triumph even more remarkable is that Retton had undergone knee surgery just six weeks prior to the Olympics.

Mary Lou Retton Health 2023
American Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton holds up her gold medal at a press conference during the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. Mary Lou, who has also won a silver, has a chance at four more medals.

In addition to her all-around gold, she also claimed a silver medal on vault and bronze medals in the uneven bars and floor exercise. Mary Lou Retton’s astounding performance, along with another silver medal in the team event, made her the most decorated American athlete at the 1984 Olympic Games. Her achievements resonated with the nation, and she was honored as Sports Illustrated’s “Sportswoman of the Year” in 1984.

American gymnast Mary Lou Retton pictured front with fellow United States team members as they parade around the athletics track inside the Memorial Coliseum during the closing ceremony for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, United States on 12th August 1984.

For many years, Mary Lou Retton remained the sole American Olympic all-around champion until other talented gymnasts like Carly Patterson (2004, Athens), Nastia Liukin (2008, Beijing), Gabby Douglas (2012, London), Simone Biles (2016, Rio de Janeiro), and Suni Lee (2021, Tokyo) followed in her footsteps.

Mary Lou Retton Health 2023 – Retirement and Legacy

Following her triumphant performance at the 1984 Olympics, Mary Lou Retton continued to shine by winning the American Cup all-around competition in 1985. This victory held a special place in her heart as it marked her transition from being an underdog to a favorite in the world of gymnastics. Retton chose to retire from competitive gymnastics in 1986, a decision she had prepared for and one that reflected her desire to be remembered as a champion rather than a struggling older athlete.

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Her retirement was marked by her induction into the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Hall of Fame in 1985 and later into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997. Post-retirement, Mary Lou Retton ventured into the world of television and film, making appearances in popular shows like “Knots Landing” (1992), “Baywatch” (1993), “Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult” (1994), “Glee” (2010), and even participating in season 27 of “Dancing With The Stars.” She also embraced the role of a motivational speaker and television analyst.

Mary Lou Retton Health 2023 – Family and Motherhood

Mary Lou Retton’s personal life included a marriage to former University of Texas quarterback Shannon Kelley, which lasted from 1990 to 2018. Together, they are parents to four daughters: Shayla (28), McKenna (26), Skyla (23), and Emma (21). All four daughters have been influenced by their mother’s love for gymnastics, with Shayla and McKenna having pursued competitive careers in acrobatics, tumbling, and gymnastics.

Mary Lou Retton Health 2023

Mary Lou Retton’s journey from a small town in West Virginia to Olympic glory is a testament to her unwavering dedication and extraordinary talent. Her legacy as a pioneering American gymnast and her enduring influence on her daughters and countless others continue to inspire the world. As she battles pneumonia, the outpouring of support from well-wishers underscores the lasting impact she has had on the world of gymnastics and beyond.

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