Mary Lou Retton was born in West Virginia in 1968 and was inspired to take up the sport of gymnastics at the age of eight after watching the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal on television. With the goal of someday reaching the Olympics herself, she trained hard and believed in her dream. At the age of 15 she won the American Cup and then finished as the runner up in the US Nationals. In 1983 and 1984 she won back-to-back American Classic titles and also captured Japan’s Chunichi Cup in 1983. In 1984 she achieved her dream of making the US Women’s Gymnastics Team after winning the U.S. Nationals and U.S. Olympic Trials. She’d go on to win gold in the All-Around, two silvers in the Team and Vault, and two bronze medals in the Uneven Bars and Floor Exercise at the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles. After the Olympic games she was featured in several commercials and had the opportunity to represent several companies as a valuable brand ambassador. In 1997 she as inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame and went on to be named to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 2004.
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