Sports

Olympic gymnastics champion Mary Lou Retton in intensive care with pneumonia

Retton’s daughter, McKenna Kelley, said in an Instagram post that the 55-year-old Retton, who trained in Houston before becoming the first American woman to win the Olympic all-around title, is “fighting for her life” and not able to breathe on her own.

Mary Lou Retton 1984
AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis, File
Mary Lou Retton reacts to applause after her performance at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles on Aug. 3, 1984. Retton. 55, is in intensive care in a Texas hospital fighting a rare form of pneumonia, according to her daughter McKenna Kelley.

Olympic gymnastics champion Mary Lou Retton has pneumonia and is in intensive care in a Texas hospital.

Retton’s daughter, McKenna Kelley, shared Retton’s condition in an Instagram post on Tuesday. Kelley said the 55-year-old Retton, who trained in Houston before becoming the first American woman to win the Olympic all-around title, is “fighting for her life” and not able to breathe on her own.

Kelley started an online fundraising campaign on Retton’s behalf for medical expenses, with it having raised more than $250,000 as of late Wednesday morning. Kelley wrote that Retton does not currently have medical insurance.

Mary Lou Retton 2017
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File
Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductee Shannon Miller, right, stands with her presenter, Mary Lou Retton, in Oklahoma City on Nov. 16, 2017. Retton. 55, is in intensive care in a Texas hospital fighting a rare form of pneumonia, according to her daughter McKenna Kelley.

Retton was 16 years old when she became an icon of the U.S. Olympic movement during her gold medal-winning performance at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. Retton, who grew up in Fairmont, West Virginia, also won two silver and two bronze medals at those Olympics to help bring gymnastics — a sport long dominated by eastern European powers like Romania and the Soviet Union — into the mainstream in the U.S.

Retton, a mother of four, currently lives in Texas. She retired from competitive gymnastics in 1986 and did numerous commercial endorsements. She also made several film and television appearances, including a stint on “Dancing with the Stars.”

She and her husband, Shannon Kelley, divorced in 2018.