Update on US Olympic hero: “fighting for her life” in the intensive care unit

Alarming reports state that renowned former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton is “fighting for her life” in intensive care as she struggles with a rare form of pneumonia.

Retton’s relatives revealed the alarming news late Friday night, adamant that the 55-year-old “is not able to breathe on her own.”

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)

The gymnast, who won gold in the individual all-around category in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, is regarded as one of the most recognisable US athletes to have ever competed in Olympic gymnastics.

With her victory, Retton became the first American woman to ever win the gymnastics all-around gold medal and any other individual medal.

Retton, who became well-known across the country as a result of her achievements, went on to feature in a number of films and TV shows in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1984, Sports Illustrated honoured her as Sportsperson of the Year.

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)

But now, her supporters have suffered a setback after the former star’s daughter, McKenna Kelley, announced her mother is in the intensive care unit (ICU) and suffering from a rare form of pneumonia.

On Spotfund, McKenna wrote: “Hey everyone! We are asking for your assistance on behalf of my sisters and I.

“Mary Lou, my wonderful mother, is battling a very uncommon kind of pneumonia for her life. She is incapable of breathing alone.

She had spent more than a week in the ICU. I won’t go into all the facts since I respect her and her right to privacy. I will say that she is uninsured, though.

“We kindly request that you PRAY if you can in any way help! and 2) if you might lend a hand with the hospital bill’s financial burden.

For my family and my mother, ANYTHING, absolutely ANYTHING, would be greatly beneficial. I appreciate you all very much.

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