She won the gold medal in gymnastics at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Tonight, Mary Lou Retton was in Tyler, speaking at the 5th annual benefit dinner for Christian Services of East Texas at the Harvey Convention Center. The Christian organization places children in individual foster homes and a group home in Whitehouse. Retton visited that group home this afternoon to spend time with the kids and sign some autographs.
The "perfect 10" gymnast has four children of her own and has a message for all children: "Believe in yourself, and dreams can and do come true, if you work for them."
Robert Springer, president of CEST, said Retton is a good Christian role model: "A lot of the children we serve come from very difficult and challenging backgrounds, so we think it's a real positive thing to have a person with such a positive message for young people."