Olympic gymnastics legend Mary Lou Retton is currently in intensive care, facing a life-threatening situation due to a rare form of pneumonia, as disclosed by her daughter, McKenna Kelley, on Tuesday. Retton, aged 55, who made history as the first American woman to capture the Olympic all-around gold medal during the 1984 Los Angeles Games, is receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.
Kelley shared the concerning news with the public through an Instagram crowdfunding appeal. She expressed, “My amazing mom, Mary Lou, has a very rare form of pneumonia and is fighting for her life.” At this moment, Retton cannot breathe without assistance and has been under intensive care for over a week. In the interest of her mother’s privacy, Kelley refrained from revealing all the specifics of the condition.
The crowdfunding campaign launched by Kelley aims to gather $50,000 to cover her mother’s medical expenses. Notably, the post also discloses that Retton does not have health insurance, making any financial assistance incredibly valuable to the family.
Mary Lou Retton’s remarkable achievements at the 1984 Olympics solidified her status as one of the iconic figures of gymnastics. Her dazzling performances not only secured the all-around gold but also earned her two silver and two bronze medals. The young athlete from West Virginia made history by winning the all-around gold after a thrilling battle with Romania’s Ecaterina Szabo. Despite trailing Szabo by 0.15 points after the uneven bars and balance beam events, Retton delivered perfect 10s in the floor exercise and the vault, ultimately snatching victory.
What makes Retton’s gold medal-winning performance even more extraordinary is the fact that she had undergone knee surgery due to an injury before the games. Her indomitable spirit and exceptional talent in gymnastics left an enduring legacy and cemented her place in Olympic history.