‘America’s Sweetheart’ was quite simply a pioneer. At the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, she won gold in the individual allaround gymnastics competition to add to her two silver medals and two bronze.
But her performance to win gold made her one of the most popular athletes in the United States as Retton became the first ever American woman to win allaround gold and was the only one to do so for 20 years.
Celebrating her 49th birthday today, Retton may well dig out the footage of her breathtakingly executed routine which saw her take home gold by just 0.05 points.
She is credited with inspiring American women’s gymnastics to the incredibly high standards we see today with Carly Patterson (2004), Nastia Liukin (2008), Gabby Douglas (2012), and Simone Biles (2016) all since following in her footsteps.
More sport stars born on this day:
1955: Jim Montgomery, is an American former competition swimmer and four-time Olympic medallist (62).
1979: Nik Wallenda, is an acrobat who holds nine Guinness World Records for various acrobatic feats (38).
1980: Rebecca Romero, is a former Olympic track cycling champion and rowing Olympic silver medallist (37).
1987: Luis Suarez, is a forward for Uruguay and Barcelona, a club where he has won eight major trophies (30).
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