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. Retton's Olympic performance and winning smile made her "America's Sweetheart."
Since then, Retton has been living a rewarding life as a wife, mother, sports commentator, and motivational speaker. She is a spokesperson for a national educational program sponsored by Pfizer that aims to raise awareness of overactive bladder (OAB) and encourage sufferers to seek proper diagnosis and treatment. For many years, Retton experienced symptoms of OAB, yet was unaware that she had a medical condition. However, since discussing the condition with her health care professional and following a therapeutic regimen, she has experienced improvement in her symptoms.
Retton is a national chairwoman and board member for the Children's Miracle Network. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Flo Hyman Award in recognition of her spirit, dignity and commitment to excellence and the 2002 National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations' Ellis Island Medal of Honor. A 1993 Associated Press sports survey found Retton to be the most popular athlete in America, and Fitness magazine named her one of the "25 Fittest People in the World." She has been inducted into of the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame and the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Born in 1968 in West Virginia, Retton lives in Houston with her husband and four daughters.