In 1984, Mary Lou Retton won the American Cup and went on that year to become the Olympic All Around Champion. Thirty years later, her daughter McKenna Kelley tied for first at the Nastia Liukin Cup. In what had to be a sweet, sweet moment, you see Mary Lou and McKenna celebrating.
Mary Lou looked much more fraught with nerves as she watched her daughter compete than she ever did as a competitor herself! She just did a live interview in the arena and did a little shriek of joy about her daughters win. She said it was so nerve racking to watch her daughter and have no control.
When asked who her gymnastics ido was, McKenna said “You know, I wouldn’t say I have a specific idol or favorite gymnast. My mom doesn’t count because she’s just mom to me, but I admire and look up to any elite athlete. They have sacrificed so much for a sport that they love. I have so much respect for them and definitely look up to the National Team girls.”(USA Gymnastics)
Just for fun, let’s watch Mary Lou’s routines next to McKenna’s.
Mackenzie Brannen and McKenna Kelley tied for first with a 38.425. Here is a little more about them and each of their routines.
Mackenzie is 17 years old and trains at Capital Gymnastics in Austin, TX. Her biggest accomplishments have been competing at the U.S. Championships four times, the Nastia Liukin Cup three times and winning the National Floor title in 2013. She is also proud to ce competing for the University of Alabama next year. The biggest thing gymnastics has taught her is to “Enjoy the journey.”
Vault – 9.750
Bars – 9.700
Beam – 9.500
Floor – 9.475
McKenna is a 16 year old and trains at Stars Gymnastics in Houston, TX. She won this event 30 years after her mom, Mary Lou Retton won the American Cup. McKenna placed fifth at the 2013 J.O. Nationals, and is verbally committed with LSU for 2015. Her goals are to finish strong the rest of the season and go out with a bang my senior year. She’d also like to leave a mark in the NCAA. McKenna says “Gymnastics has taught me … I can overcome anything if I put my mind to it…”