Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton proudly applauded her daughter from the sidelines on Saturday at the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships.
Louisiana State University gymnast McKenna Kelley, 22, spearheaded her team’s second-place finish with a score of 9.95 on her floor routine, People reports.
A very touching moment late, as @LSUgym @mckennamckelley performs her final floor routine as a Tiger, with her legendary mother Mary Lou Retton in tears looking on. Kelley scored a stellar 9.95. pic.twitter.com/YrERX9CtZ3
— Jacques Doucet (@JacquesDoucet) April 21, 2019
In a video tweeted by LSU Gymnastics, a happy Retton, 51, can be seen chanting “10” and pushing her hands in the air.
As People reports, Retton was “the first American woman to win the individual all-around gold medal in gymnastics at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.” Further, she retired from the sport a year later at age 17.
What a way to close the night. pic.twitter.com/tedB7SG2jv
— LSU Gymnastics (@LSUgym) April 22, 2019
Ironically, Retton’s daughter would begin her gymnastics career at that same age.
The mom remembered a very poignant moment from when Kelley was a little girl practicing her roundoff, she told WBRZ:
“When (McKenna) was little, we were tumbling and flipping, she was practicing a roundoff, and I told her to put her feet together quicker. She looked at me and said ‘what do you know?'”
— Brandon Saho (@BrandonSaho) April 14, 2017
According to People, LSU coach D-D Breaux told the Times-Picayune of Kelley:
“I really commend her. She’s worked really hard to come back from a serious injury, did two events and was ready to do beam tonight. She has done an amazing job.”
Although Kelley is a senior, she is eligible to remain on the gymnastics team another year if she chooses. This is due to the fact that she missed the entire season of her junior year because of injury.
However, when asked if she will remain on the team for another year, Kelley told the Times-Picayune:
“I’m really not sure. There’s light peeking through the door. I don’t know. I really don’t know. I’m thinking about how tonight went. I’m thinking about the group of girls I love. I’m thinking about my senior class. I’m thinking about my body. I’m also thinking about what I could do out of this sport and what this sport has given me.”
Happy Monday! 🥳 🤩💜 pic.twitter.com/qhggSex98D
— McKenna Kelley (@mckennamckelley) April 22, 2019
Further, People reports that, in addition to McKenna, Retton shares three other girls with her ex, former college quarterback Shannon Kelley. The daughters are Shayla Rae, 24, Skyla Brae, 19, and Emma Jean, 16.