In Los Angeles, the celebrated Olympic gymnast, Mary Lou Retton, faces a life-threatening battle in intensive care. Diagnosed with an exceptionally rare form of pneumonia, the 55-year-old Retton, who made history as the first American woman to clinch the Olympic all-around gold medal during the 1984 Los Angeles Games, is under the care of medical professionals at an undisclosed hospital, as confirmed by her daughter, McKenna Kelley.
In a heartfelt plea for support shared on her Instagram account, Kelley provided insight into her mother’s grave condition. She stated, “My amazing mom, Mary Lou, has a very rare form of pneumonia and is fighting for her life. She is not able to breathe on her own and has been in the ICU for over a week now. Out of respect for her and her privacy, I will not disclose all details.”
To help cover her mother’s medical expenses, Kelley initiated a crowdfunding campaign with a goal of,000. She emphasized that her mother lacks health insurance and conveyed her gratitude for any support extended by saying, “Anything, absolutely anything, would be so helpful for my family and my mom.”
Retton, who became an iconic figure of the 1984 Olympics due to her remarkable performances, secured the all-around gold, two silver, and two bronze medals. In an unforgettable competition, the young gymnast from West Virginia triumphed in the all-around, narrowly surpassing Romania’s Ecaterina Szabo.
Despite Szabo holding a 0.15-point lead after the uneven bars and balance beam, Retton’s flawless performances in the floor exercise and vault, earning perfect 10s, secured her the gold. This historic victory marked Retton as the first non-Eastern European woman to claim the Olympic all-around gold, a feat made even more extraordinary by her recovery from a pre-Games knee injury that required surgical intervention.