Mary Lou Retton, who won five medals in gymnastics at the 1984 Summer Olympics, reluctantly announced her retirement Monday to return to school. She is 18.
“Gymnastics was my life for 11 years,” she said. “I spent my whole life in the gym, six hours a day every day. Now there’s kind of a gap in my life. But I achieved the goals I wanted at an early age. Now I have the rest of my life to do what I want.”
She plans to study communication at the University of Texas, where she is a freshman, and to remain involved with gymnastics as a coach and announcer.
“I really had to quit school when I was in the 10th grade,” she said. “After that, I had to do correspondence courses. That is how I graduated and I think I missed a lot.”