Olympic Gymnastics Icon Mary Lou Retton is Ill with Pneumonia and is ‘fighting for her life’ in the Hospital, According to her Daughter

Mary Lou Retton, a retired gold medal-winning gymnast from the Olympics, is reportedly “fighting for her life,” according to her daughter McKenna Kelley. In order to help pay for her mother’s medical expenses, Kelley pleaded for prayers and money in her message. Retton’s daughter in a post on a crowdfunding website on Tuesday posted. The condition was confirmed to NBC News by a different daughter.

Retton, 55, is unable to breathe on her own at present and has been in the intensive care unit for over a week now, according to Kelley’s post on Spotfund. Other than mentioning that her mother is without coverage, she did not give any other information on her illness.

Mary Lou Retton Illness

“We ask that if you could help in any way, that 1) you PRAY! and 2) if you could help us with finances for the hospital bill,” Kelley noted in the post.

“Please help my mom continue to fight,” Emma Jean Kelley’s story reads and features a photo from a fundraising page. “Anything helps.”

Who is Mary Lou Retton?

On January 24, 1968, Mary Lou Retton was born. She was a former American gymnast. In the individual all-around event at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics in 1984, she won a gold medal, two silver medals, two bronze medals, and four other medals. Retton became one of the most recognized athletes in the US as a result of her accomplishments. She made Olympic gymnastics history by becoming the first American woman to win the all-around gold medal.

Mary Lou Retton Illness
Source: Wiki and Bio of Celebs

She showed a tremendous ability for gymnastics at a very young age. Retton started practising in gymnastics in her hometown of Fairmont, West Virginia, when she was eight years old after being motivated by seeing Nadia Comăneci overcome the reigning Olympic two-event champion Olga Korbut on television during the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Her remarkable journey from a young, aspiring gymnast to an Olympic gold medalist has left an indelible mark on the world of gymnastics.

The 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles was the turning point in Mary Lou Retton’s career. Mary Lou was the first American woman to win the all-around gold medal thanks to her faultless vault, which earned her a perfect 10.

She was given a spot on the 1984 American Olympic squad after winning the Olympic Trials. However, she had a number of injuries leading up to the Los Angeles Olympics, including a knee injury while performing a floor routine at a nearby gymnastics centre and a second injury while collecting autographs. She needed knee surgery five weeks before the games began.

Retton withdrew from professional gymnastics in 1986, but the 2016 USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal brought her back into the spotlight. Her former coaches, Bela Karolyi and Márta Karolyi were condemned for their part in creating a climate where convicted sex offender Larry Nassar could function, even though they were not involved.

Who are Mary Lou Retton’s daughters?

Retton and Shannon Kelley, a former University of Texas quarterback, were wed from 1990 to 2018. They have four daughters: Shayla, 28, McKenna, 26, Skyla, 23, and Emma, 21. Her daughters, following the footsteps of her mother, chose gymnastics as their career.

Mary Lou Retton Illness
Source: People

She set an example for her children, and as a result, Skyla is a competitive cheerleader, Emma is currently a member of the University of Arkansas gymnastics team, and McKenna competed for the LSU Tigers gymnastics team. Shayla once competed for the Baylor University gymnastics and acrobatics team.

McKenna talked about having a history-making mother when she appeared on TODAY in 2019. 

“I don’t think I understood the enormity of what she did and the groundbreaking gymnastics that she did at the time,” Kelleys said at the time. “To me, she’s just Mom.”

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