Olympic legend Mary Lou Retton has pneumonia and is ‘fighting for her life,’ daughter says

The gymnast “is not able to breathe on her own” due to pneumonia, according to her daughter.

Published on October 10, 2023

Mary Lou Retton, the legendary Olympic gymnast, has been hospitalized with pneumonia.

Her daughter McKenna Lane Kelley shared via Instagram that Retton, 55, has been in an intensive care unit “fighting for her life” because she “is not able to breathe on her own.” Kelley posted a link to a SpotFund campaign on her Instagram Story to raise funds for Retton’s medical bills.

In the description on the fundraising page, Kelley clarified that Retton has “been in the ICU for over a week now,” but stated that “Out of respect for her and her privacy, I will not disclose all details.” As of Tuesday evening, the campaign, which aimed at raising $50,000, has raised $66,362, with over 1,200 donors contributing to the cause.

Mary Lou Retton.

Retton shot to stardom during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where she became the first American woman to win an individual gold medal in any gymnastics event, as well as the first American woman to win the all-around gold medal for her individual performance. Retton also won two silver medals and two bronze medals at the 1984 Olympics, and retired from gymnastics in 1986.

Retton remained in the public eye long after her athletic career concluded, appearing in movies like Scrooged and The Naked Gun 33 ⅓: The Final Insult. She also competed in season 27 of Dancing with the Stars in 2018, finishing in 9th place. Additionally, in 2002, she hosted her own children’s TV series, Mary Lou’s Flip Flop Shop, and has worked as a motivational speaker.

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