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Mary Lou Retton: Olympic All-Around Gold in Gymnastics


Mary Lou Retton is a retired American gymnast who won the gold medal in the individual all-around competition at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. She was the first American woman to win the all-around gold medal in Olympic gymnastics.

Mary Lou Retton at the 1984 Summer Olympics

Retton was born in Fairmont, West Virginia, in 1968. She began gymnastics at the age of 6 and moved to Houston, Texas, in 1983 to train with renowned Romanian coach Bela Karolyi.

Retton was a dominant force in women’s gymnastics in the early 1980s. She won the American Cup and the U.S. National Championships in 1984, and she was the favorite to win the all-around gold medal at the Olympics.

However, Retton suffered a knee injury just six weeks before the Olympics. She underwent surgery and was considered to be a doubtful starter for the Games. However, she persevered and competed at the Olympics.

Retton trailed the Romanian team’s Ecaterina Szabo by 0.05 points going into the final rotation of the all-around competition. She needed a perfect score of 10 on the vault to win the gold medal.

Retton delivered a perfect vault to win the gold medal and become a national hero. She was the first American woman to win the all-around gold medal in Olympic gymnastics, and she helped to inspire a generation of gymnasts.

Retton retired from gymnastics in 1985. She has since worked as a commentator, motivational speaker, and business woman. She was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997.

Retton is a role model for athletes and women everywhere. She showed that it is possible to overcome adversity and achieve your dreams.

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