Mary Lou Retton catapulted to international fame by winning the All Around Gold Medal in women's gymnastics at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, becoming the first American woman ever to win a gold medal in gymnastics. She also won silver medals for Team and Vault, and bronze medals for Uneven Bars and Floor Exercise. Her five medals were the most won by any athlete at the '84 Olympics. To this day she remains the only American ever to win the Olympic All Around Title.
Other victories include being the only woman to win three American Cups (1983 85), the only American to win Japan's prestigious Chunichi Cup (1983), two U.S. Gymnastics Federation American Classics (1983 84), and the All Around title at both the 1984 National Championships and Olympic Trials. Mary Lou retired from competitive gymnastics in 1986.
Today, she continues to touch the lives of millions. A national sports survey found Mary Lou to the most popular athlete in America. She is in great demand as a motivational speaker and corporate spokesperson and also travels the world as a "Fitness Ambassador" promoting the benefits of proper nutrition and regular exercise. Mary Lou serves as national chairperson and sits on the Board of Governors of the Children's Miracle Network. She was a commentator for NBC at the '88 Olympic Games and wrote a daily column for USA Today at the '92 and '96 Olympics. At the '96 Olympics in Atlanta, Mary Lou also served as an on air reporter for Gannett Broadcasting's NBC affiliates the largest NBC affiliate group in the United States. In addition, she co hosted the weekly television series Road to Olympic Gold.
Mary Lou has appeared in the motion pictures Scrooged and Naked Gun 33 1/3. She has made appearances on numerous television shows including Guiding Light, Knots Landing and Dream On, and guest starred in one of the highest rated episodes of the series Baywatch.
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