Sunday, August 3, 2014

August 3, 1984: Mary Lou Retton Takes The Gold

     On August 3, 1984, in front of more than 9,000 at UCLA's Pauley Pavillion, Mary Lou Retton pulled off a flawless vault to earn a perfect 10 and a gold medal. Retton was in a neck and neck race with Romania's Ecaterina Szabo coming into the event, and needed perfection to win the gold in the all around competition. Szabo had earned a score of 9.95 with her vault, which set the bar high for the 16-year-old, however, it was a bar that she would clear with ease, as she sprinted toward the springboard, somersaulted through the air, and came down with a perfect landing. Retton knew almost instantly that she had achieved perfection, but she still had to wait for the judges to deliver the score. Moments later the perfect scored was delivered and the celebration ensued. If you watch the video the smile on her face says it all. She was an American hero. I will not lie I am not the biggest follower of gymnastics, but I can tell you this watching the event gave me goosebumps. Gotta love it.

You can watch it here:

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