Mary Lou Retton

an American retired gymnast

Mary Lou Retton
Mary Lou Retton Source: Google

Mary Lou Retton, most often known as MLR, is a former American gymnast. She is well-known for her remarkable athletic exploits. She is also a gold medallist, having earned her first at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Who is Mary Lou Retton? Childhood, Parents, Education, and Childhood

Mary Lou Retton was born on January 24, 1968, in the United States in Fairmont, West Virginia. Ronnie and Lois Retton are her parents. Mary’s father was also a former collegiate basketball player.

MLR’s parents were both quite active and interested in sports and physical activities. Mary’s nationality is American.

As a result, she began taking dancing lessons at the age of four. She then began taking gymnastics courses with her sister Shari Retton. Mary is also the youngest of five children.

Further, the former gymnast was dedicated and enthusiastic about the sport. In fact, the night before her classes at West Virginia University, she used to sleep in her exercise clothes.

Retton became interested in gymnastics and trained with renowned gymnastics instructor Béla Károlyi.

Moreover, He is known for his tough-love teaching style, but when he came to America, he softened. She blossomed under the Romanian-American instructor and never stopped pushing herself.

Consequently, Retton graduated from Fairmont Senior High School. She did not, however, graduate since she was more focused on gymnastics. The Olympic gold champion relocated to Houston to train at the Károlyi Gym.

Aside from that, after quitting gymnastics, she temporarily attended the University of Texas.



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Mary Lou Retton | Gymnastics Career

When she was eight years old, the former athlete began her training to become a renowned gymnast. Her mother enrolled her in the University of West Virginia in order to harness her hyperactive child’s energy. Lois had no idea that Mary would grow up to pursue it as a career.

Additionally, She began her training with Gary Rafaloski in her hometown. She believed she could improve her training, so she relocated to Houston, Texas. Retton received his training from Béla and his wife, Márta Károlyi. Béla Károlyi’s coaching helped her progress as an overall gymnast.

She won the American Cup and finished second in the US Nationals at the age of 15.

Furthermore, the gymnast won the American Classic in 1983 & 1984, as well as the Chunichi Cup in Japan in 1983.


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She had knee surgery before the 1984 Summer Olympics to repair a leg ailment. Despite her fears of missing the Olympics, the gymnast healed in time. MLR earned her first gold medal in the first Summer Olympics staged in America in 1932.

Moreover, She did an ankle vault and then the extremely difficult Tsukahara vault for the last leap. In addition, America’s Sweetheart earned two silver and three bronze medals in the Summer Olympics.

Also, she was selected “Sportswoman of the Year” by Sports Illustrated, a popular sports magazine.

Mary Lou Retton | Retirement

Mary retired in 1986 after winning her third and final American Cup all-around competition in 1985. Following that, she had some experience in television and film.

Retton has been in the comic film Scrooged as well as notable TV shows such as Glee and Baywatch. She was also a Dancing With The Stars participant in 2018.

Mary Lou’s Flip Flop was a children’s series she created. Aside from that, she used her time to campaign for President Ronald Reagan’s re-election. She also attended the Republican National Convention in 2004.

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Is Mary Lou Retton Single? Spouse and Kids

Mar Lou was wedded to Shannon Kelley. In addition, the former couple had four daughters. Their daughters’ names are Shayla, McKenna, Skyla, & Emma Kelley.


The former gymnast put all of her girls in gymnastics when they were little. However, only three of them persisted, whereas Skyla became a cheerleader.

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How old is Mary Lou Retton? Height, Weight, and Body Measurements

Currently, Mary is 54 years old. Retton takes good care of her health and diet as a former athlete. As a result, despite being in her 50s, she is in excellent shape. She stands 4 feet 9 inches and weighs 93 lb (42 kg).

When it comes to her physical appearance, Retton has Brown hair and Dark Brown eyes. Sadly, Mary Lou’s physical measurements, shoes, and tattoos are not yet accessible.

Net Worth and Salary

Retton has a net worth of more than $8 million. Furthermore, the gymnast became well-known following her famous victory in the 1984 Summer Olympics. As a consequence, Retton received endorsements from well-known brands and corporations.

Mary Lou Retton | Social Media Presence

Mary Lou is a frequent user of social media networks. As a result, Mary has 67.2k followers Instagram account. Retton frequently posts images of herself and her children.


Mary Lou is also on Twitter, where she has 28.3k followers.

Quick Facts:

Full Name Mary Lou Retton
Birth Date January 24, 1968
Birth Place Fairmont, West Virginia, the United States
Nick Name MLR, America’s Sweetheart
Religion Christian
Nationality American
Ethnicity Italian American
Education Fairmont Senior High School
Horoscope Aquarius
Father’s Name Ronnie Retton
Mother’s Name Lois Retton
Siblings Four
Age 54 years old
Height 4 feet 9 inches
Weight 93 lb (42 kg)



Was Mary Lou Retton in Star Wars?

No, Mary Lou was not in Star Wars.

How much is Mary Lou Retton worth?

Retton’s net worth is more than $8 million.

What was Mary Lou Retton famous for?

Retton is famous for being the first American female to win an individual all-around gold medal.

Where did Mary Lou Retton go to college?

Mary went to Fairmont Senior High School but unfortunately, she did not complete her study.









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