1984 Summer Olympics: Mary Lou Retton Was The First American Woman To Win The All-Around Gold Medal In Olympic Gymnastics

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In 1980, the United States and 64 other countries boycotted the Moscow Olympics. In reaction, the Soviet Union and some of its allies boycotted the 1984 games in Los Angeles. Romania was the notable exception to this boycott. Because the Soviets would have been favored to win gold in the all-around competition for women’s gymnastics, their absence opened the door to the American team. That year, Mary Lou Retton would become the first American woman to win the all-around gold.