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Olympian Mary Lou Retton home from the hospital and in ‘recovery mode’ amid battle with rare pneumonia

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.” 

“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.” 

Mary Lou Retton competes in a gymnastics event

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

“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 that Retton was “really exhausted.”

Mary Lou Retton poses for a portrait

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.

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and the Associated Press contributed to this report.



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