HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – As Mary Lou Retton continues to fight for her life in the ICU, many of the thoughts and prayers for her recovery are coming from the people who look up to her the most.
Huntington Resident, Gymnastics Coach, and Fellow Olympic Gymnast Hrabrina Spencer says she’s one of the many who were inspired by Retton.
Retton competed in the Summer Olympics in 1984 while Spencer competed in the 1988 Olympics. Even though the two events were four years apart, the two have crossed paths more than once.
Spencer, who owns Bozhi’s Gym Nest in Huntington, says Mary Lou Retton is a name that’s hard to forget. More so for her and her students because of the time she’s taken to visit and talk to them over the years.
“I do know Mary Lou Retton personally and she did inspire many of our gymnasts for the short time that she was in West Virginia. She came back and lived in Fairmont for a few years,” Spencer says Wednesday evening.
Spencer says while many of her younger students don’t remember Retton competing in the 1984 Olympics, she makes sure they know her name.
Now, Mary Lou Retton is in the ICU fighting for her life, but she’s not alone. The people she’s inspired over the years are once again cheering her on.
“My thoughts and prayers for her, for her family, and for the gymnastics community which is definitely holding praying hands for her,” Spencer says, wishing her fellow Olympian and friend a quick recovery.