According to sources, Mary Lou Retton has an estimated net worth in 2023 of around $2 million (according to Sportskeeda). It’s important to note that this figure is not officially confirmed or entirely reliable.
Mary Lou Retton is a former gymnast who achieved fame by winning five Olympic medals in 1984, including a gold medal in the all-around event. She holds the distinction of being the first American woman to accomplish this feat. In addition to her Olympic success, she earned numerous medals at various international competitions. Retton generated a substantial income from her gymnastics career, which included prize money and lucrative sponsorships.
More About Mary Lou Retton
- Nickname: America’s Sweetheart
- Born: January 24, 1968
- Birthplace: Fairmont, West Virginia
- Net worth: $2 million as of 2023
Early Life: Mary Lou Retton was born on January 24, 1968, in Fairmont, West Virginia, USA. She was the youngest of five children and the daughter of Ronnie, a former college gymnast. Her Italian heritage enriched her cultural background.
Gymnastics Beginnings: From a tender age, Retton demonstrated extraordinary talent in gymnastics. At the age of 14, she relocated to Houston, where she underwent training under the tutelage of renowned coach Bela Karolyi. Her journey was marked by determination, including a challenging wrist injury she overcame in 1983.
Olympic Triumph: In the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Mary Lou Retton catapulted to international stardom. She etched her name in history as the first American woman to clinch the all-around gold medal in gymnastics. Achieving perfection with two perfect 10 scores on her vault attempts in the final rotation, she narrowly outshone Romania’s Ecaterina Szabo by a mere 0.05 points, securing the gold medal. This iconic performance earned her the affectionate moniker, “America’s Sweetheart.”
Becoming a Household Name: Mary Lou Retton’s Olympic triumph opened the doors to numerous endorsements and television appearances, propelling her into the homes of millions. Her image graced the covers of esteemed magazines like Sports Illustrated, and she became the face of Wheaties cereal boxes. Additionally, she made notable guest appearances on shows such as The Tonight Show and other widely-watched programs. Her indomitable spirit and achievements inspired young gymnasts across the globe.
Post-Olympic Career: In the wake of the Olympics, Retton faced the challenge of overcoming injuries but remained committed to performing and promoting the sport of gymnastics. Her competitive gymnastics career concluded in 1986. In recognition of her unparalleled contributions, she became the first female athlete to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985, followed by her induction into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997.
Life Beyond Gymnastics: In 1990, Mary Lou Retton married former American football player Shannon Kelley, and together they have four daughters, all of whom share their parents’ passion for sports. Notably, in 2018, after 28 years of marriage, Mary Lou Retton and Shannon Kelley decided to part ways, marking a significant personal transition in her life.
Broadcasting Career: Transitioning seamlessly into the world of sports broadcasting, Retton served as a gymnastics commentator and made invaluable contributions to sports coverage at several Olympic Games, including the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Philanthropy: Mary Lou Retton has been an active advocate for various charitable causes. Her support extends to children’s hospitals, research initiatives focused on degenerative diseases, and the Special Olympics. She has lent her voice as a spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, exemplifying her commitment to making a difference beyond the gymnastics arena.
Legacy: Retton’s enduring legacy is marked by her remarkable achievements, particularly at the 1984 Olympics, which continue to inspire young gymnasts and athletes. Her accolades include being named “Sportswoman of the Year” by Sports Illustrated in 1984, being voted “Most Popular Athlete in America” by The Associated Press in 1985, and her inclusion in ESPN’s “50 Greatest North American Athletes of the Century” in 1999.
Mary Lou Retton’s indelible impact on the sport and her unwavering popularity have firmly established her as a true legend in the world of gymnastics.