The 1984 Games:
Retton had another piece of good luck, competitively, when many of the Eastern European countries decided to boycott the Games. The USSR had the best gymnasts in the world in 1984, and they would not be competing at the Olympics.
Still, the Romanian team was there, and Ecaterina Szabo was leading Retton going into the last rotation. But Szabo was on bars, her weakest event, and Retton was on vault, one of her strongest. Retton needed a 10.0 to win, and she scored exactly that -- sticking a layout full-twisting Tsukahara, one of the most difficult vaults being performed at that time. Watch Mary Lou Retton vault.
Retton also won a silver on vault and bronzes on bars and floor in the individual event finals.
Retton was coached for most of her elite career by Bela Karolyi, and was his first Olympic champion in the United States.
Retton married Shannon Kelley on December 29, 1990. The couple has four girls: Shayla (born April 12, 1995), McKenna (born April 15, 1997), Skyla (born August 9, 2000) and Emma (born June 20, 2002). The family lives in Houston, Texas.
Retton is 4 ft. 9 in. tall.