HomeStatisticsSports StarsMary Lou Retton Height, Weight, Age, Body Statistics

Mary Lou Retton Height, Weight, Age, Body Statistics

Mary Lou Retton Quick Info
Height 4 ft 9 in
Weight 42 kg
Date of Birth January 24, 1968
Zodiac Sign Aquarius
Spouse Shannon Kelley

Mary Lou Retton has been considered as one of the most iconic female gymnasts in the United States. She holds the distinction of being the first American gymnast to have won a gold medal in the individual all-around competition. When she achieved the famous feat at the 1984 Summer Olympics, she was still studying in high school. She decided to retire from gymnastics in 1986.

Born Name

Mary Lou Retton

Nick Name

America’s Sweetheart

Mary Lou Retton at US Health and Human Services Department in 2004
Mary Lou Retton at US Health and Human Services Department in 2004 (US Health and Human Services / / Public Domain)

Sun Sign


Born Place

Fairmont, West Virginia, United States


She is based with her family in Houston, Texas, United States.




Mary Lou Retton went to the Fairmont Senior High School. However, she didn’t graduate from high school.


Retired Gymnast


  • Father – Ronnie Retton (Owned and ran a coal-industry Transportation Equipment Business)
  • Mother – Lois Retton
  • Siblings – She has an older sister.


Mary Lou Retton is represented by –

  • MLR Entertainment
  • Michael Suttle (Company)


Women’s Artistic Gymnastics


Karolyi Gym (Former)


Béla Károlyi, Márta Károlyi (Former)




4 ft 9 in or 145 cm


42 kg or 92.5 lbs

Boyfriend / Spouse

Mary Lou Retton has dated –

  1. Shannon Kelley (1990-2018) – Mary started going out with Shannon Kelley, who is a former football player and real estate developer, while he was still studying in the university. They got engaged in 1989 and got married in a romantic ceremony in 1990. Over the course of their marriage, she has given birth to 4 daughters, Shayla (b. 1995), McKenna (b. 1997), Skyla (b. 2000), and Emma (b. 2002). In 2018, Mary Lou divorced Shannon.
Mary Lou Retton with Reggie Jackson in 2017
Mary Lou Retton with Reggie Jackson in 2017 (Mary Lou Retton / Instagram)

Race / Ethnicity


She has Italian ancestry.

Hair Color

Dark Brown

Eye Color

Dark Brown

Sexual Orientation


Distinctive Features

Short height


She is a devout Christian and has called The Bible her favorite book in her interview with Greenville Online. Also, she and her family regularly attend Second Baptist Church Houston.

Brand Endorsements

Mary Lou Retton has appeared in the TV commercials for the following brands –

  • Wheaties Cereal
  • Dairy Queen
  • Australian Dream arthritis and joint pain relief cream
  • Lipton Sizzle ‘n Stir
  • Sprint PCS
  • ReMax Realtors Supports the Children’s Miracle Network (Public Service Advertisement)

She has also been featured in the print adverts for the following –

  • Biomet Manufacturing’s M2a-Magnum hip replacement implant
  • Mars Candy’s M&M’s chocolates
  • Depend Silhouette briefs

She has also lent her voice to the Radio adverts for Biomet Manufacturing’s M2a-Magnum hip replacement implant.

She has also served as a brand ambassador for brands such as US drugstore chain Revco and Wheaties.

Mary Lou has also promoted some of the brands through her Instagram like Nature’s Bounty.

Mary Lou Retton promoting Nature's Bounty in February 2017
Mary Lou Retton promoting Nature’s Bounty in February 2017 (Mary Lou Retton / Instagram)

Best Known For

Being one of the most successful and decorated American gymnasts. She managed to win a gold medal, 2 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals at the 1984 Olympics. In fact, she is considered as one of the pioneering figures in the US gymnastics.

First Film

In 1988, Mary made her theatrical film debut in the comedy-fantasy movie, Scrooged.

First TV Show

In 1984, Mary Lou Retton made her first TV show appearance on the comedy talk show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Personal Trainer

As she had to undertake grueling and intensive workout regimes during her professional career, she has opted to go for low-impact workout regimes now after retirement. She likes to start her day with less intense swimming laps. Mary also likes to go cycling. On some days, she even prefers to go for long walks. In fact, she prefers to walk around as much as possible.

When it comes to nutrition, she doesn’t follow any strict diets. She follows the simple principle of an 80 to 20 ratio. She just makes sure that 80 percent of her daily diet is healthy and nutritious, which allows her to eat whatever she desires for the remaining 20 percent.

She daily starts her day with a simple and healthy meal. Mary prefers to eat a toast with egg whites. She washes it down with a cup of coffee.

Mary Lou Retton’s Favorite Things

  • Supplement Brand – Nature’s Bounty
  • Food – Pizza
  • Healthy Food – Grilled Chicken
  • Dream Vacation – Italy and Greece
  • TV Shows – Any show on The Food Network, HGTV, TLC, and Animal Planet
  • Hobbies – Reading, cooking, and exercising
  • Indulgence – French Fries and Pizza
  • Book – The Bible

SourceWell and Good, Greenville Online

Mary Lou Retton with her daughter Skyla in May 2018
Mary Lou Retton with her daughter Skyla in May 2018 (Skyla / Instagram)

Mary Lou Retton Facts

  1. She was in her sophomore year of high school when she competed in the 1984 Olympics and delivered a stunning haul that included a gold medal and 2 silver medals.
  2. She got the inspiration to become a gymnast through the 1976 Summer Olympics in which Nadia Comăneci managed to defeat defending Olympic two-event winner Olga Korbut.
  3. She started her journey at a local club in her hometown of Fairmont. She was trained by Gary Rafaloski.
  4. Later, she moved to Houston, Texas, where she trained under the guidance of Romanians Béla and Márta Károlyi, who had also coached former Olympian Nadia Comăneci.
  5. In 1983, she managed to win the American Cup. However, she missed out on participating in the World Championships because of a wrist injury.
  6. Her participation in the 1984 Summer Olympics was in doubt because of a knee injury. She had sat down to sign contracts when she found her knee had locked. She had to undergo surgery just 5 weeks before the Olympics.
  7. When she won the all-around gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, she became the first American to have won the prestigious medal. She was also the first female gymnast who wasn’t from Eastern Europe to have won the gold medal.
  8. In 1984, she was selected as Amateur Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press. She was also declared Sportswoman of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine.
  9. In recognition of her stunning performances at the Olympics, she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997.
  10. In 1992, she was honored with induction into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.
  11. She was born with hip dysplasia, which worsened because of her grueling gymnastics regime. In her mid-30s, she even had to undergo hip replacement surgery.
  12. She was a fierce supporter of former US President Ronald Reagan‘s administration. She even appeared in a series of commercials for his campaign and also at his rallies.
  13. In October 2023, it was revealed that Mary had been hospitalized and was in the ICU due to pneumonia.
  14. Visit her official website @

Featured Image by Mary Lou Retton / Instagram

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