Mary Lou Retton, who was one of the crucial fashionable athletes within the nation after profitable the all-around ladies’s gymnastics pageant on the 1984 Summer time Olympics in Los Angeles, has pneumonia and is “combating for her lifestyles” within the in depth care unit, her daughter stated in a remark this week.
Retton’s daughter, McKenna Lane Kelley, stated on Instagram that her mom “isn’t ready to respire on her personal” and that she have been within the in depth care unit for greater than per week.
Kelley didn’t percentage extra particular details about her mom’s situation, despite the fact that she stated that her pneumonia used to be “an excessively uncommon shape.” It used to be no longer transparent what clinic Retton used to be in.
Kelley, who used to be a gymnast at Louisiana State College, didn’t right away reply to a message in the hunt for touch upon Tuesday.
On the 1984 Olympics, Retton, 55, was the primary American girl to win the all-around gold medal or anyone Olympic medal in gymnastics. Going into the general rotation of the contest, she used to be five-hundredths of some degree at the back of Romania’s Ecaterina Szabo, and the one method she may beat Szabo used to be to attain a super 10 on vault.
Retton scored a super 10.
She received 5 medals in Los Angeles, together with two silvers, for group and vault, and two bronzes, for asymmetric bars and ground workout.
Although there used to be an asterisk through Retton’s victory within the historical past books — the Soviet Union, which used to be essentially the most dominant drive in ladies’s gymnastics on the time, boycotted the 1984 Video games — it nevertheless made her a sports activities hero in the US. Along with incomes her the standard trappings of Olympic gold, like showing on a Wheaties field, she used to be extensively considered as an inspiration to a brand new era of American ladies coming into gymnastics.
Even because the American gymnastics program grew and the rustic received extra medals, together with the group gold in 1996, Retton’s prominence remained: For twenty years, Retton used to be the one American girl to win the all-around identify, till Carly Patterson was the second one in 2004.
Retton used to be born in Fairmont, W.Va., and were given her get started early, like many most sensible gymnasts. By the point Retton used to be 7 years previous, she used to be coaching in gymnastics full-time.
Retton’s skill have been obvious from the beginning, however a large ruin got here at an Olympics removing match in Reno, Nev., in 1982, the place she inspired Bela Karolyi, who would cross on to train her within the 1984 Olympics.
“I right away known the super bodily attainable of this little child,” Karolyi stated in a March 1984 interview.
Retton gave the impression in quite a few motion pictures and TV presentations within the past due Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties, together with the comedy movie “Scrooged.”
After her athletic profession, Retton was a motivational speaker to advertise the advantages of correct vitamin and common workout.
Maggie Astor contributed reporting.