Just to be sure I remembered it right, I watched Mary Lou's routine's from the 1984 Olympics, this time with my five-year-old daughters. Their first comment was that they loved the graphic print of her, red, white, and blue long-sleeved leotard. Then they wanted to know where the wires were that let her fly like that.
It was magical. Look it up if you don't remember. You won't be disappointed. Her marks stand on their own, but her medals were made all the more dramatic because Americans didn't usually dominate the sport. Mary Lou was the first American to take the all-around title. She also happened to win a total of five medals in Los Angeles, the most won by any athlete at the Olympics that year.
Today, Mary Lou is a mother of four beautiful daughters, a motivational speaker, and a TV commentator. The Olympics remain a big part of her life and not just because her five medals are on display in her living room. After she catapulted to fame in '84, offers poured in to lend her name to different organizations. The Special Olympics was the first one she committed to. For 27 years, she says, it's been the Special Olympians inspiring her, not the other way around.
As Mary Lou well knows, competing in and even traveling to the Olympics isn't easy. Here's how you can help: Visit P&G's Thank You, Mom Facebook page and "like" share or leave a comment. For each one, P&G will donate $1 to support Special Olympics Team USA's journey to Athens, up to $250,000. While you're there, check out Mary Lou's video tribute to her own family, "What I see."
Do you have a favorite moment from the 1984 Olympic Games? Post on our Facebook wall and let us know. To jog your memory, here's a gallery of Mary Lou's spectacular moments. Enjoy!