Alarming update on US Olympic hero – “fighting for her life” in ICU

Decorated former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton is “fighting for her life” in intensive care as she battles a rare form of pneumonia, according to alarming reports.

The 55-year-old’s family broke the troubling news late last night, insisting that Retton “is not able to breathe on her own.”

The gymnast is widely considered one of the most iconic US athletes to have ever competed in Olympic gymnastics, having taken gold in the individual all-around competition at the 1984 games in Los Angeles.

Retton’s success marked the first time in history that an American woman had earned the all-around gold medal, and indeed any individual medal in gymnastics.

Unsurprisingly, Retton rose to national prominence through her feats, going on to appear in several films and TV shows throughout the 1980s and ’90s. She was also recognized as Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 1984.

LOS ANGELES – AUGUST 1984: Mary Lou Retton of the USA waves to the crowd during the Women’s Gymnastics competition of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games held from July 30 to August 3, 1984 at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

Now, however, her fans have been dealt a blow after the former star’s daughter, McKenna Kelley, revealed her mother is in ICU battling a rare form of pneumonia.

McKenna’s post on Spotfund reads: “Hey everyone! On behalf of my sisters and I, we need y’all’s help.

“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.

“We ask that if you could help in any way, that 1) you PRAY! and 2) if you could help us with finances for the hospital bill.

“ANYTHING, absolutely anything, would be so helpful for my family and my mom. Thank y’all so very much!”

Gold medal winner Mary Lou Retton and bronze medal winner Simona Pauca of Romania listen to the playing of the United States National Anthem at the awards ceremony for the Women’s Gymnastics Combined event at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games. (Photo by © Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Following her retirement from gymnastics, Retton became a motivational speaker. She also served on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under former President George W. Bush.

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