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RettonVaults to Fame
West Virginian Mary Lou Retton was no stranger to knee problems leading up to the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. She had knee surgery just five weeks prior to the competition. With two events left in the individual all- around competition, Retton trailed Ecaterina Szabo of Romania by 0.15 points. Then, she scored a 10 in the floor exercise, while Szabo scored 9.9 on the vault, narrowing the gap to 0.05 points. With one event to go, the vault, Retton needed a 9.95 to tie Szabo and a 10 to win. Retton raced toward the vault like a sprinter and executed a flawless twisting maneuver called a Tsukahara. Upon landing, she jumped up and down, seemingly knowing that she had won the gold, and waved to the wildly cheering home- country crowd. Yes, Retton had scored another 10 to win the gold. She also won two silver medals and two bronzes during the 1984 Olympics.
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