News of Mary Lou’s ongoing battle with pneumonia was first shared by her daughter McKenna on Instagram Oct. 10.
“She is not able to breathe on her own,” she wrote. “She’s been in the ICU for over a week now. Out of respect for her and her privacy, I will not disclose all details.”
In addition to asking followers and fans for their prayers and positive thoughts, the family also shared a link to a donation page, noting that their mother—who won five medals at the 1984 Olympics—is uninsured. “ANYTHING, absolutely anything, would be so helpful for my family and my mom,” McKenna added. “Thank y’all so very much!”
In the decades since her retirement from gymnastics in 1986, Mary Lou, who picked up Team USA’s first gold medal in the All-Around at the 1984 games, has reflected on her legacy.
“I am kind of the pioneer, I like to call myself,” she noted to Get Connected in 2016. “We opened the door of a pretty strong and incredible legacy of USA gymnastics. I’m pretty humbled and pretty proud of that fact.”