West Virginia State Museum Education

West Virginia's Historic People

Important People

Mary Lou Retton

Mary Lou Retton

Mary Lou Retton (1968- ) was born in Fairmont and won five medals in the 1984 Summer Olympics, including the gold in the all-around competition. Retton won the all-around gold medal by 0.05 points and became the first American, as well as the first female gymnast from outside Eastern Europe, to receive it. At the same Olympics, Retton won four additional medals: silver medals in the team competition and the horse vault, and bronze medals in the floor exercise and uneven bars. For her outstanding performance, she was named Sports Illustrated magazine’s “Sportswoman of the Year.” She also appeared on Wheaties boxes and became the cereal’s first official spokeswoman.

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