Mary Lou Retton Addresses the 'Naysayers'

She gives an update on her health crisis, and calls out the 'trolls'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2024 2:00 AM CDT
Mary Lou Retton Gives Health Update
Mary Lou Retton reacts to applause after her performance at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles on Aug. 3, 1984.   (AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis, File)

Mary Lou Retton is still on oxygen months after her mysterious health scare, and doctors expect it'll be another year to 18 months before she's off, the Olympic gymnast tells Entertainment Tonight in a new interview. "They still don't know what's wrong with me. They're calling it a rare form of pneumonia," Retton says. After the initial health crisis in October, Retton says she later had "a bit of a relapse" but is now "back" and looking to the future, including her first grandchild, due in July. But it's been difficult dealing with her long recovery, and "the lungs are a different beast" than rehabbing a hip or a shoulder, she notes: "It's been hard."

She adds that her lungs are "pretty scarred up and they're gonna stay that way forever." But she credits her daughters with getting her the help she needed, crowdfunding money to cover her medical bills (she was uninsured, but has since gotten insurance through USA Gymnastics). As for criticism and questioning of that crowdfunding campaign, Retton tells ET all the money is going strictly to medical bills and what's left will be donated to the American Lung Association. "I don't care about the naysayers," she says. "There are trolls everywhere." (More Mary Lou Retton stories.)

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