Five-time Olympic medalist Mary Lou Retton is back at home after her family revealed earlier this month that the gymnastics icon was “fighting for her life” after suffering from a rare form of pneumonia.

McKenna Kelley, one of Retton’s daughters, shared the update on social media Monday, adding that Retton is now in “recovery mode.” 

Mary Lou Retton looks on during a competition

Mary Lou Retton, former Olympic gold medalist in women’s gymnastics, attends the Tyson American Cup at the Sears Centre on Feb. 21, 2009, in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

“Mom is HOME and in recovery mode. We still have a long road of recovery ahead of us, but baby steps,” she wrote in the post on Instagram. 


“We are overwhelmed with the love and support from everyone. Grateful doesn’t scrape the surface of the posture of our hearts.” 

She continued, “Thank you Jesus, thank you doctors and nurses, thank you to this loving community of support.” 

The update comes just days after Shayla Kelley Schrepfer, Retton’s daughter, said her mother had suffered a “scary setback” while still in the ICU. 

Mary Lou Retton competes in a gymnastics event

U.S. gymnast Mary Lou Retton performs, circa 1980s. (Robert Riger/Getty Images)


“Basically at the beginning of this week, we were going on the up and up,” Schrepfer said in a video posted to Instagram on Thursday. “We were so excited seeing so much progress. And then yesterday, we had a pretty scary setback.”

Schrepfer did not elaborate on the setback but did say Retton was “really exhausted.”

Retton’s family created a donation page earlier this month, revealing that the former Olympian did not have medical insurance.

“My amazing mom, Mary Lou, has a very rare form of pneumonia and is fighting for her life. She is not able to breathe on her own. She’s been in the ICU for over a week now. Out of respect for her and her privacy, I will not disclose all details. However, I will disclose that she [is] not insured,” the fundraiser post read.

Mary Lou Retton poses for a portrait

Mary Lou Retton poses during a portrait session for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. (USA Today Sports)


Since then the initial goal of $50,000 has been more than fulfilled with more than 8,300 people donating nearly $450,000. The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) also stepped in to offer aid.

Retton was nicknamed “America’s sweetheart” during her gold medal-winning performance at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. She was just 16 when she scored perfect 10s in the floor exercise and vault in the final two rotations to become the first American woman to win the Olympic all-around title.

She would earn five medals that year, two silver and two bronze in addition to gold.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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