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Former Olympic Gymnast Mary Lou Retton ‘Fighting For Her Life’ In ICU, Daughter Confirms


According to her daughter, Mary Lou Retton is “fighting for her life” in the ICU after contracting a rare form of pneumonia.

The Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast’s daughter, McKenna Kelley, announced the news in a post on her Instagram Story that included a link to a Spotfund page set up especially for her 55-year-old mother.

“My amazing mom, Mary Lou, has a very rare form of pneumonia and is fighting for her life,” she wrote in a message on the fundraising page. “She is not able to breathe on her own. She’s been in the ICU for over a week now. Out of respect for her and her privacy, I will not disclose all details. However, I will disclose that she not insured.”

“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 continued.

The objective of the fundraiser is $50,000, and as of Tuesday, 109 contributors had given about $8,000 to it.

One of the most well-known names in the world of gymnastics is Retton. She created Olympic history in 1984 in Los Angeles by being the first American to win a gold medal in the individual all-around competition.

She earned perfect 10s on the floor and vault despite having undergone knee surgery just weeks prior to the Games, edging Romania’s Ecaterina Szabo by 0.05 points. Along with winning bronze on the uneven bars and the floor, Retton also won silver in the vault and the team competition.

Following her Olympic victory, Retton was chosen “Sportswoman of the Year” by Sports Illustrated and portrayed on a Wheaties box.

Prior to her retirement in 1986, she won the American Cup all-around competition for the third time in 1985.

Retton continued to be a prominent figure after her gymnastics career ended by making cameo appearances in films and TV episodes like Glee, Baywatch, Knot’s Landing, and Naked Gun 33+1: The Final Insult. She also took part in Dancing with the Stars season 27.

In 1997, Retton became a member of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. In her native Fairview, West Virginia, she was also honored with a park and a roadway.

Four daughters—Shayla, Skyla, Emma, and McKenna—were born to her and her ex-husband Shannon Kelley. The latter followed in her mother’s gymnastics-obsessed mother’s footsteps and competed for Louisiana State University.

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