About Next Year's Speaker
In 1984, Mary Lou Retton stunned and inspired the world when she became the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics - and the five medals she won in Los Angeles were the most by any athlete at the games. Lauded for her athletic achievements, Retton also captured the world's admiration for her winning smile, her determination to overcome obstacles and her commitment to excellence.
Other victories include being the only woman to win three American Cups (1983-85), the only American to win Japan's prestigious Chunichi Cup (1983), two U.S. Gymnastics Federation American Classics (1983-84) and the All-Around title at both the 1984 National Championships and Olympic Trials. Retton retired from competitive gymnastics in 1986.
Countless awards and honors have been bestowed on Retton including: 1984 Sports Illustrated Sportwoman of the Year; 1984 Associated Press Amateur Athlete of the Year; the first gymnast and the youngest inductee into the USOC Olympic Hall of Fame; the first woman to appear on the Wheaties Box and one of America's Top Top "Most Admired" public figures. In 1994, the U.S. Olympic Committee established the annual Mary Lou Retton Award for athletic excellence. In 1995, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton presented Retton with The Flo Hyman Award in recognition of her spirit, dignity and commitment to excellence. Retton was selected a member of the official White House Delegation representing the President at both the 1992 and 1998 Olympic Games.
Today she continues to touch the lives of millions. A national sports survey found Retton to be the most popular athlete in America. She is in great demand as a motivational speaker and corporate spokesperson and also travels the world as a "Fitness Ambassador" promoting the benefits of proper nutrition and regular exercise. Retton serves as national chairperson and sits on the Board of Governors of the Children's Miracle Network.
In her presentation, Retton shares how anyone can perform at peak levels to achieve the professional and personal success they desire by modeling the characteristics of real-life champions - sacrifice, dedication, attitude and hard work.