Last Updated: April 4, 2024
Richest AthletesOlympians
Net Worth:
$2 Million
Jan 24, 1968 (56 years old)
4 ft 9 in (1.45 m)
Gymnast, Actor
United States of America
💰 Compare Mary Lou Retton's Net Worth

What is Mary Lou Retton's Net Worth?

Mary Lou Retton is a retired American gymnast who has a net worth of $2 million. Mary Lou Retton won the gold medal in the individual all-around competition at the 1984 Summer Olympics. She was the first American woman to win the all-around gold and individual Olympic medal in gymnastics. In one of the most dramatic moments in sports history, Mary Lou was five-hundredths of a point behind the leader, Romanian Ecaterina Szabo. The only way Mary Lou could win would be if she landed a perfect ten on the vault. To the world's shock, she scored that perfect ten and instantly became an international sensation. She walked away from the 84 games with five medals: the aforementioned gold, two silvers, and two bronze.

After the Olympics, Retton stayed in the public eye in a variety of ways, perhaps most notably as a supporter of the Reagan administration. She also attended the University of Texas at Austin and appeared in many, many, many TV commercials and endorsement campaigns, most notably for Wheaties cereal.

Illness and Fundraiser

On October 10, 2023, Mary Lou's daughter McKenna revealed that Mary Lou had been in the ICU for over a week dealing with an unexplained illness that made it impossible for her to breathe on her own. McKenna also revealed that her mother does not have health insurance and, therefore, included a link to a fundraising page with the goal of raising $50,000 for her medical expenses. The fundraiser ultimately raised around $460,000. When she was asked later why her mother did not have healthcare, McKenna explained: "Due to her medical history and the number of surgeries she has endured from gymnastics and just life, it's unaffordable to her." McKenna also explained that her mother's income dropped in the wake of the COVID pandemic. She had previously been earning up to $25,000 per speech.

Personal Life & Divorce Settlement

Following her gymnastics career, Retton attended The University of Texas at Austin. Retton lived in Houston, Texas, until 2009, when she moved back to West Virginia. In 2012, she moved back to Houston and then married real estate developer Shannon Kelley, the former quarterback of the University of Texas. They have four daughters together – Shayla, McKenna, Skyla, and Emma. They divorced in 2018.

According to the terms of their divorce settlement, in 2018, Shannon reportedly paid Mary Lou $2 million in cash and property. Specifically, $1,950,597 worth of cash and property. That amount did not include her share of the proceeds from the sale of a home in Houston and a home in West Virginia. The Houston home was sold for $800,000, and the West Virginia home was sold for $575,000. Mary also received the couple's 2015 Porsche Panamera.

Early Life

Retton was born on January 24, 1968, in Fairmont, West Virginia. Her father, Ronnie, was in charge of a coal-industry transportation equipment business. She was born with hip dysplasia, which was made worse over time by her extensive gymnastics training. She began training in gymnastics at the age of 8 after watching Nadia Comaneci win in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. In order to encourage her gymnastics training, the family moved to Houston so that Retton could train under Bela and Marta Karolyi, the couple who had coached Nadia Comaneci.

Gymnastics Career

After starting to work with the Karolyis, Retton quickly became a star in gymnastics. She won the American Cup in 1983 at the age of 15. The same year, she placed second in the U.S. Nationals, finishing just after Dianne Durham. A wrist injury caused her to miss the World Gymnastics Championships, but she won the American Classic in both 1983 and 1984.

Retton went on to win the U.S. Nationals in 1984 and also qualified at the U.S. Olympic Trials. However, she then injured her knee while she had been performing a routine. While signing autographs, she felt her knee lock up and realized the injury was serious. She was forced to get an operation on her knee five weeks prior to the 1984 Summer Olympics. The pressure was on her to recover quickly in order to perform well in the Olympics, especially since it was being held for the first time in the United States in 52 years. However, she recovered just in time to be competitive and was able to perform.

(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Because the entire Soviet bloc apart from Romania had decided to boycott the Olympics, eliminating much of the typical American-Soviet gymnastics competition, Retton was primarily engaged in a close battle with Romanian Ecaterina Szabo for the all-around gold medal. Retton was initially behind Szabo, who had scored higher on the uneven bars and the balance beams. Stunningly, she scored perfect scores of 10 on both the vault and the floor exercise, giving her the needed boost to grab the win. The victory was especially dramatic considering the knee injury and speculation that it would hinder her performance. Retton won the gold by .05 points and became the first female gymnast not from Eastern Europe to win the individual all-around gold. She also was the first American woman to be an Olympic all-around champion. Retton also won two silver medals and two bronze medals at the same Olympics.

Retton continued her gymnastics career following the Olympics. She won the American Cup all-around competition in 1985 for a third time. She then decided to retire from gymnastics in 1986 at the age of 18. One of Retton's signature moves on the uneven bars became known as "The Retton Flip" and consisted of a transition that involved perching on the high bar. Over time, the move was removed from the Code of Points due to stylistic changes in gymnastics over the years. In 1997, Retton was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. She was the first woman to be inducted into the Houston Sports Hall of Fame in January 2020.

Mary Lou Retton Net Worth

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


Following her gymnastics career, Retton had a number of endorsement deals. She was pictured on the front of a Wheaties box and also later became a spokeswoman for the U.S. drugstore chain Revco. Retton also became an outspoken supporter of the Reagan administration, appearing in a number of television ads supporting Ronald Reagan for president. She also appeared alongside him at a rally for his reelection campaign. She remained involved in conservative politics for years afterward as well. In 2004, she delivered the Pledge of Allegiance with former fellow gymnast Kerri Strug on the second night of the Republican National Convention.

Other Appearances

Additionally, Retton made cameo appearances as herself in a number of films and shows. She appeared in "Scrooged" and "Naked Gun 33+ 1/3: Final Insult." She also appeared in "Knots Landing," "Baywatch," and a commercial for RadioShack in 2014.

In 2018, she competed on the 27th season of "Dancing with the Stars." She was partnered with professional dancer Sasha Farber but was eliminated in the sixth week, coming in ninth place.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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