Born in Fairmont, West Virginia, on January 24, 1968, Mary Lou Retton has become a timeless representation of the strength and perseverance of American gymnasts. Her incredible path from an enthusiastic little gymnast to a national hero and beyond is proof of her steadfast commitment and persistence.

Retton’s extraordinary career began when she began gymnastics at the age of five. A turning point in her career came when she relocated to Houston, Texas, in 1983 to study with famed Romanian instructor Bela Karolyi. She refined her techniques and created a look that accentuated her small, muscular frame under Karolyi’s guidance. She became a leading figure in American gymnastics as a result of her metamorphosis.

Retton’s victory in the coveted American Cup in 1983 hinted at her future glory. At the 1984 U.S. national championships, she won the all-around title, advancing her career even further. Her remarkable performance in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles was made possible by her victories.

What Is the Net Worth of Mary Lou Retton?

mary lou retton net worth

The retired American gymnast Mary Lou Retton is worth $2 million. In the 1984 Summer Olympics, Mary Lou Retton took home the gold medal in the individual all-around competition. She was the first female American to win an Olympic gymnastics gold medal in both the individual and all-around competitions.

Mary Lou trailed the leader, Romanian Ecaterina Szabo, by five-hundredths of a point in one of the most dramatic moments in sports history. Mary Lou would need to score a flawless 10 on the vault in order to win. She achieved a perfect 10, shocking everyone and making waves across the globe right away. After the 84 games, she had won five medals: two silver, two bronze, and the gold mentioned above.

Retton maintained her public profile following the Olympics in a number of ways, most notably by endorsing the Reagan White House. She continued on to study at the University of Texas at Austin and made numerous appearances in TV ads and sponsorship campaigns, the most well-known of which was for the Wheaties cereal.

Mary Lou’s daughter McKenna disclosed on October 10, 2023, that her mother had spent more than a week in the intensive care unit (ICU) due to an illness that was beyond medical explanation and prevented her from breathing on her own. Additionally, McKenna disclosed that her mother lacks health insurance; consequently, she provided a link to a fundraising page aimed at gathering $50,000 to cover her mother’s medical costs.

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The Career of Mary Lou Retton

mary lou retton net worth

  • American gymnast Mary Lou Retton won five medals during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, demonstrating her incredible success.
  • She accomplished a ground-breaking feat by being the first female gymnast from outside of Eastern Europe to win the gold medal in the all-around competition.
  • Retton’s Olympic record was completed with two silver and two bronze medals, which cemented her place in gymnastics history.
  • Her achievement of becoming the first female American to win the all-around gold medal in Olympic history was noteworthy and marked a turning point for American gymnastics.
  • Retton, who was raised in Fairmont, West Virginia, set out on a path that would eventually bring her fame.
  • Renowned Romanian coach Bela Karolyi helped her develop her abilities and accomplish important goals, including winning the U.S. Nationals and the American Cup.
  • She became the first woman to appear on the cover of the Wheaties cereal box, demonstrating her iconic reputation and the impact she had beyond the gymnastics mat.
  • At the tender age of 18, Retton decided to give up competitive gymnastics, leaving a legacy that would go on to motivate future generations.
  • She entered a new stage of her career, sharing her experiences and wisdom with others as a television pundit and motivational speaker.
  • Mary Lou Retton accomplished a significant feat in 1985 when she was admitted as the inaugural gymnast to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

Her place as a gymnastics great was cemented for future generations when she was admitted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997, an honor that recognized her enormous achievements in the sport.

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Awards and Achievements of Mary Lou Retton

mary lou retton net worth

The following are a few of Mary Lou Retton’s noteworthy honors and accomplishments:

  • Throughout her gymnastics career, Mary Lou Retton achieved a number of astounding feats and triumphs that demonstrated her extraordinary talent and commitment.
  • Her victory as the 1983 American Cup Champion was a precursor to her ascent to notoriety in the gymnastics community.
  • In the same year, she further solidified her reputation as a tough gymnast by winning the Chunichi Cup and becoming the American Classics Champion.
  • Retton’s domination persisted into 1984, when she won the American Cup and American Classics once more, confirming her reputation as a reliable and outstanding athlete.
  • Her career reached its zenith in the 1984 U.S. Championships, where she not only won the gold medal but also emerged victorious in the All-Around division, demonstrating her unmatched talent and tenacity.
  • Her gymnastic career peaked in 1984 at the OLYMPIC GAMES, where she realized her greatest desire to become the Olympic Champion in the All-Around discipline and win the gold medal. She became a trailblazer in American gymnastics after her momentous victory.
  • She demonstrated her capacity to continually succeed in the sport in 1985 when she won the American Cup Champion title once more.

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Mary Lou Retton’s Personal Journey

mary lou retton net worth

Retton attended The University of Texas at Austin after her gymnastics career. Retton returned to West Virginia in 2009 after living in Houston, Texas. She returned to Houston in 2012, when she wed real estate entrepreneur and former University of Texas quarterback Shannon Kelley. Together, they had four daughters: Emma, McKenna, Skyla, and Shayla. 2018 saw their divorce.


Mary Lou Retton, the iconic American gymnast, captivated the world with her extraordinary journey from a young enthusiast to an Olympic gold medalist. Her historic victory in the 1984 Olympics, where she achieved the first-ever gold medal for the U.S. in women’s gymnastics, solidified her legacy. Beyond the gym, she inspired and remained in the public eye. With a net worth of $2 million, Mary Lou Retton’s remarkable achievements and influence continue to shine as she makes her mark in gymnastics and American sports history. Now, facing a health crisis, her family seeks support through a fundraising campaign.

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