Mary Lou Retton Illness, Wikipedia, Wiki, Fundraiser, Bo Insurance, ICU, Instagram, Uninsured, Covid, Worth, Vaccinated
Mary Lou Retton Illness, Wikipedia, Wiki, Fundraiser, Bo Insurance, ICU, Instagram, Uninsured, Covid, Worth, Vaccinated – Mary Lou Retton, the first American female gymnast to win an Olympic Gold Medal, was born on January 24, 1968, in Fairmont, West Virginia, United States. She had Italian ancestry, and her original family surname was ‘Rotunda.’ Mary Lou was the youngest of five siblings in the Retton family, and they were all enthusiastic about sports and participated in various activities.
Her Journey to Gymnastics
Mary Lou’s love for gymnastics started at an early age. Her mother, Lois, took her and her sister, Shari, to the West Virginia University once a week for gymnastics practice. She was inspired by the performances of Russian gymnast Olga Korbut, who won the gold medal in gymnastics at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Watching Nadia Comăneci, a legendary Romanian gymnast, compete and win at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada, gave Mary Lou an even greater passion for gymnastics. This event, where Comăneci outperformed the defending Olympic champion Olga Korbut, had a profound impact on Mary Lou. She started training in gymnastics under the guidance of her coach, Gary Rafaloski, in Fairmont, West Virginia. Later, she moved to Houston, Texas, to receive training from Romanian coaches Béla and Márta Károlyi, who were former coaches of Nadia Comăneci.
Mary Lou Retton Gymnastics Career
Under the coaching of Béla and Márta Károlyi, Mary Lou’s gymnastics career began to flourish. She won the 1983 American Cup and finished second at the U.S. Nationals, just behind another Karolyi protégé, Dianne Durham. Unfortunately, she couldn’t participate in the 1983 World Championship due to a wrist injury. However, she competed in the 1983 and 1984 American Classic and won both competitions. In 1983, she also won the Chunichi Cup in Japan.
In 1984, Mary Lou won the American Cup and the U.S. Nationals, earning her a spot on the American gymnastics team for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, she suffered a significant knee injury just five weeks before the Olympics during a routine floor exercise. She had to undergo surgery, but miraculously, she recovered in time to compete.
The 1984 Summer Olympics were unique because several countries boycotted the event due to political reasons. Despite this, Romania participated, and Mary Lou faced off against Romanian gymnast Ecaterina Szabo for the all-around gymnastics gold medal. After the uneven bars and balance beam events, Mary Lou was trailing Szabo by 0.15 points. However, she made a remarkable comeback, scoring a perfect 10 in the floor exercise and vault, despite concerns about her knee injury. In the end, Mary Lou Retton won the all-around gold medal, making her the first American gymnast to achieve this and the first female gymnast from outside Eastern Europe to win such a prestigious award.
Mary Lou didn’t stop at the all-around gold medal. She won four more medals at the 1984 Olympics, including two silver medals in the horse vault and the team competition, and two bronze medals in the floor exercise and uneven bars. After her spectacular Olympic performance, Mary Lou retired from gymnastics in 1986 after winning the 1985 American Cup all-around competition for a third consecutive time.
Mary Lou Retton Later Life
After retiring from gymnastics, Mary Lou Retton became actively involved in various campaigns to support President Ronald Reagan’s bid for re-election. She appeared in television advertisements endorsing President Reagan, demonstrating her vocal and ardent support for his administration.
Mary Lou also made cameo appearances as herself in two movies: ‘Scrooged’ and ‘Naked Gun 33?: The Final Insult.’ In the 1990s, the U.S. drugstore chain Revco appointed her as their spokesperson, and she appeared in various advertisements on their behalf. She also had multiple commercial endorsements, including her picture appearing on the front of a Wheaties cereal box.
Mary Lou ventured into television hosting with a physical fitness program called ‘ABC Funfit’ in 1985. This program consisted of a series of five-minute segments that aired during Saturday morning cartoons. She was also cast in a 1993 episode of ‘Baywatch’ titled ‘The Child Inside.’ In 2002, she started her television program, ‘Mary Lou’s Flip Flop Shop.’
Mary Lou Retton Awards and Achievements
Mary Lou Retton’s incredible performance at the 1984 Olympics earned her numerous accolades. She was named ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ by Sports Illustrated and the ‘Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year’ in 1984. These awards recognized her exceptional contribution to gymnastics and her remarkable achievements at the Olympics.
In 1997, Mary Lou was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, cementing her legacy as one of the sport’s greatest athletes.
Mary Lou Retton Personal Life and Legacy
Mary Lou Retton is married to Shannon Kelley, a former University of Texas quarterback who currently works in the Houston Baptist University athletic department and is a real estate developer. Together, they have four daughters: Shayla Rae Kelley, McKenna Lane Kelley, Skyla Brae Kelley, and Emma Jean Kelley, born between 1995 and 2002.
Before Mary Lou’s rise in gymnastics, the sport was dominated by female gymnasts with petite frames who performed balletic movements. Her compact, muscular physique changed the perception of gymnastics, introducing speed, accuracy, and power into the field.
Mary Lou Retton’s journey from a young, aspiring gymnast to an Olympic champion, and her contributions to the sport’s legacy, will forever be remembered as an inspiration to generations of gymnasts and athletes around the world.
What illness does Mary Lou Retton have?
A: Olympic gymnastics champion Mary Lou Retton is currently battling pneumonia. She’s in the intensive care unit (ICU) at a hospital in Texas. Her daughter, McKenna Kelley, shared this information on Instagram.
When did Mary Lou Retton win the Olympics?
Mary Lou Retton became a famous figure in the U.S. Olympic world when she won a gold medal at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. She was just 16 years old at the time.
Why is Mary Lou Retton fighting for her life?
Mary Lou Retton has a very unusual type of pneumonia. She’s been in the ICU at a hospital for more than a week, and she’s having difficulty breathing on her own, according to her daughter, McKenna Kelley’s Instagram post. She’s in a serious condition, which is why she’s fighting for her life.
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