Sunday, March 7, 2010

Women's History Month - Mary Lou Retton


Gymnast. Born January 24, 1968 in Fairmont, West Virginia.

After developing a love of gymnastics as a girl, Mary Lou Retton moved to Houston, Texas, to train with acclaimed Romanian coach Bela Karolyi. Under his direction, she developed a style to suit her strong, compact frame, winning several prestigious competitions, including the American Cup and the U.S. Nationals.

At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Mary Lou Retton won a gold medal in the women's all-around by earning a perfect score of 10 in the vault, the final event of the competition. It was the first time a female gymnast outside Eastern Europe won the Olympic all-around title. Retton also won two silver and two bronze medals in individual and team competitions.

Mary Lou Retton’s wholesome exuberance won her many commercial endorsements, including an appearance on the front of a Wheaties cereal box. She retired from gymnastics in 1985 after winning her third American Cup title and was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997.

Mary Lou Retton resides in Houston, Texas, with her husband and four daughters. She is an occasional commentator for televised gymnastics.

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