|Name:||Mary Lou Retton|
|Birth Day:||January 24, 1968|
|Birth Place:||Fairmont, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
She attended Fairmont Senior High School but did not graduate. She competed at the 1984 Olympics her sophomore year of high school.
Mary Lou Retton was born on January 24, 1968, in Fairmont, West Virginia. (The original family name was "Rotunda.") Her father, Ronnie, operated a coal-industry transportation equipment business. She attended Fairmont Senior High School, but did not graduate. She competed in the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles, California, during her sophomore year of high school.
Retton was inspired by watching Nadia Comăneci outshine defending Olympic two-event winner Olga Korbut on television at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, when she herself was eight years of age, and she took up gymnastics in her hometown of Fairmont, WV. She was coached by Gary Rafaloski. She then decided to move to Houston, Texas, to train under Romanians Béla and Márta Károlyi, who had coached Nadia Comăneci before their defection to the United States. Under the Károlyis, Retton soon began to make a name for herself in the U.S., winning the American Cup in 1983 and placing second to Dianne Durham (another Károlyi student) at the US Nationals that same year. Though Retton missed the World Gymnastics Championships in 1983 due to a wrist injury, she won the American Classic in 1983 and 1984, as well as Japan's Chunichi Cup in 1983.
After winning her second American Cup, the U.S. Nationals, and the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1984, Retton suffered a knee injury when she was performing a floor routine at a local gymnastics center at this time. She had sat down to sign autographs when she felt her knee lock, forcing her to undergo an operation five weeks prior to the 1984 Summer Olympics, which were going to be held in Los Angeles—the first time the Summer Olympics had been held in the United States in 52 years. She recovered just in time for this most prestigious of tournaments, and in the competition, which was boycotted by the Soviet bloc nations except for Romania, Retton was engaged in a close battle with Ecaterina Szabo of Romania for the all-around gold medal. Trailing Szabo (after uneven bars and balance beam) by 0.15 with two events to go, Retton scored perfect 10s on floor exercise and vault—the last event in an especially dramatic fashion, as there had been fears that her knee injury and the subsequent surgery might impair her performance. Retton won the all-around gold medal by 0.05 points, beating Szabo and becoming the first American to receive the all-around gold medal. She also became the first female gymnast from outside Eastern Europe to win the individual all-around gold.
In 1985, Retton won the American Cup all-around competition for the third and final time. She retired in 1986.
Retton's hometown, Fairmont, West Virginia, named a road and a park in the town after her. Having retired from gymnastics after winning an unprecedented third American Cup title in 1985, as noted above, she later had cameo appearances as herself in Scrooged and Naked Gun 33 ⁄3: The Final Insult.
Retton was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
In 1993, the Associated Press released results of a sports study in which Retton was statistically tied for first place with fellow Olympian Dorothy Hamill as the most popular athlete in America.
In 1997, Retton was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Retton lived in Houston, Texas, until 2009, when her family returned to West Virginia and again moved back to Houston in 2012. She was married to former University of Texas quarterback and Houston real estate developer Shannon Kelley, who now works for the Houston Baptist University athletic department. Together they have four daughters: Shayla (b. 1995), McKenna (b. 1997), a former NCAA gymnast at Louisiana State University, Skyla (b. 2000), and Emma (b. 2002).
Retton was thrust back into the spotlight when the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal hit the news in 2017. When the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization of 2017 was introduced to the 115th Congress, she and other members of USA Gymnastics met with the bill sponsor, Senator Dianne Feinstein, with the aim of convincing her to drop the bill. Despite these efforts, on February 14, 2018 the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization of 2017 was signed into law and became effective immediately.
Retton has many commercial endorsements, including bowling and shampoo. She was the first female athlete to be pictured on the front of a Wheaties box, and General Mills stated that Wheaties sales improved after her appearance. In 2019, Retton became a spokesperson for Australian Dream, a pain relief cream. She is a frequent analyst for televised gymnastics and attended The University of Texas at Austin after the Olympics.
Mary was married to Shannon Kelly from 1990 until 2018. They had four daughters, including McKenna Kelley, who went on to compete for the LSU gymnastics team.
|#1||Emma Jean Kelley||Daughter||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#2||Shayla Rae Kelley||Daughter||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#3||Skyla Brae Kelley||Daughter||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#4||McKenna Lane Kelley||Daughter||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#6||Shannon Kelley||Former spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Currently, Mary Lou Retton is 54 years, 8 months and 2 days old. Mary Lou Retton will celebrate 55th birthday on a Tuesday 24th of January 2023. Below we countdown to Mary Lou Retton upcoming birthday.
January 24, 1968: Mary Lou Retton Was Born and Became the First American Woman to Win the All-Around Gymnastics Event at the Olympics
Turning 50 today, the former gymnast was also the first female athlete to be featured on the front of a Wheaties box.