Mary Lou Retton's Daughters Are All Grown Up And Gorgeous

To the world, Mary Lou Retton is an Olympic athlete, author, and television celebrity. To Shayla Schrepfer and her sisters McKenna Kelley, Skyla Kelley, and Emma Kelley, she's just mom, and she's in the biggest competition of her life. In a spotfund page, McKenna shared that Retton has been in the ICU for several days battling a "very rare form of pneumonia" that at one point had her relying on machines to breathe. The sisters have asked for prayers, donations, and support for their mother, with whom they share not only a strong physical resemblance but also an innate athletic ability. All four of Retton's daughters, whom she shares with ex-husband Shannon Kelley, have competed in gymnastics, and while none have gone all the way to the Olympics, they have enjoyed success and count their mother among their biggest cheerleaders. In an interview with LSU's Tiger Rag, McKenna, who competed at the highest level of all four girls, spoke about the words her mother shared with her before competitions. "To me it's always 'good luck, you got this, I love you.'" 

It's that unconditional love and unwavering support that makes Retton the best kind of "medal-ing" mom. In an interview with Parade, Retton said about her young girls, "I just want them to know that I'm proud of them no matter what, whether they're gymnasts or not, just because they're human." Now that they're all grown up, Retton's daughters have given their mom many reasons to continue to be proud.

Oldest daughter Shayla Kelley Schrepfer was a college gymnast

The oldest of Retton's daughters, 28-year-old Shayla Kelley Schrepfer started taking gymnastics lessons while just a preschooler. She enjoyed the sport, competing throughout her high school years at Second Baptist School in Houston, Texas, winning state and regional championships along the way. It looked like Schrepfer, a Level 10 gymnast, was set to follow in her mother's footsteps, but although she clearly inherited some of her talent, the beautiful brunette changed paths after enrolling at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. 

Schrepfer used her award-winning gymnastics skills to land and stick a scholarship and a spot on Baylor's acrobatic and tumbling team. Although a knee injury kept her off the mat throughout the freshman season, Schrepfer remained on the team until she graduated with a degree in Health Science in 2017. Over the years, she and her team qualified and earned individual and team awards in the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association's competitions. However, a successful athletic career and a college degree weren't the only things Baylor University gave Schrepfer. She tumbled head over heels for fellow Baylor alumni Wyatt Schrepfer. The two became engaged in 2018, walked down the aisle in  2020, and, according to her Instagram feed, are the proud parents to a spaniel named, what else, "Champ."

Shayla Kelley Schrepfer traded pyramids for power cleans

After years of competing in gymnastics, tumbling, and acrobatics, Shayla Kelley Schrepfer set her sights on something that neither her mother nor her sisters had tried: bodybuilding. Who can blame her? All those years spent practicing, working out, and training had left her with a killer bod, so why not show it off? According to her Instagram feed, Schrepfer enlisted the help of trainer Alejandro Martinez Jr. to get her in fighting shape for the 2022 NPC Battle of Texas competition. She documented her process and progress via her YouTube channel, giving viewers an up close and personal look at the hard work and dedication that goes into getting ready for a bikini competition. From the early morning workouts to the meal plans, and a bout of flu just days before her competition date that derailed her initial plan, no detail was left out.

All of Retton's eldest daughter's efforts paid off. With her close-knit family cheering her on, Schrepfer took home first place medals in three different classes of the competition. A proud Retton posted a photo of her daughter on her Instagram feed with the caption, "Words cannot express how PROUD I am of you! Your work and dedication is inspiring," along with the hashtag "champion." 

Shayla Kelley Schrepfer is a YouTube vlogger

She may have a famous mom, but Shayla Kelley Schrepfer is a down-to-earth girl. Don't believe it? Check out her YouTube channel. Schrepfer started a vlog in 2015 and uses the platform to share her life with her almost 6,000 subscribers. Schrepfer's uncanny resemblance to her mom, coupled with her bubbly personality, makes her a natural on camera, and she comes across as relatable and accessible — kind of like the big sister you didn't know you needed. And speaking of sisters, hers factor heavily in her YouTube videos, as does her iconic mother, her husband, and of course, her beloved dog. 

The content is wholesome and fun, serving up family adventures along with plenty of shopping finds, meal prep tips, and hair and beauty product recommendations. Candid conversations and Q&A sessions help viewers get to know Schrepfer and her family in a way that feels inclusive, not invasive. Schrepfer knows her audience and speaks to them candidly, showing them the good, bad, uncertain, and sad moments that everyone experiences. By opening herself up, Schrepfer has endeared herself to a generation of people who remember watching her mom compete, as well as a younger generation of women who admire her taste, style, and dedication to living a fit life. 

Shayla Kelley Schrepfer opens up about anxiety and heart disease

Outwardly, Shayla Kelley Schrepfer has always been the picture of good health, but you can't always judge a book by its cover. Schrepfer posted a vlog to her YouTube channel detailing her lifelong struggle with anxiety and panic attacks that were so severe that she was sent home from kindergarten. Turns out these panic attacks weren't just frightening; they were masking a much bigger problem. During Schrepfer's high school years, the active, athletic teen was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, a rare heart condition that nearly sidelined her from sports for good.

According to the Mayo Clinic, WPW is a congenital heart defect where the heart has an extra electrical pathway, resulting in a rapid heartbeat. Since a fast heartbeat is also a symptom of a panic attack, people who suffer from anxiety, like Schrepfer, might overlook it. It wasn't until she began experiencing more severe and frequent episodes that Schrepfer consulted a doctor who correctly diagnosed her condition. After undergoing a heart ablation to correct the problem when she was a teen, Schrepfer says she has had no further issues other than still struggling with occasional anxiety. She shared her story in the hopes of shedding light on this disease and helping other people who may be experiencing similar symptoms. 

McKenna Kelley gets it from her mama

Of all four of the Kelley girls, it's McKenna (Kenna) Kelley whose apple seems to have fallen closest to the tree. Like her sisters, she was enrolled in gymnastics as a child, but unlike the other three, she trained at the elite level during her senior year of high school. At just 17 years old, Kelley tied with Mackenzie Brannan for the coveted Nastia Liukin Cup championship title, her first major U.S. competition and win. But rather than continue at the elite level, Kelley chose to enroll at Louisiana State University, where she vaulted to success at the collegiate level, scoring high 9s in vault and a perfect 10 on the floor during her senior year and was an All-American gymnast four times.

Her flawless performances drew the inevitable comparisons to her mother, but according to an interview she gave to LSU's Tiger Rag, Kelley didn't let the pressure get to her. "I've never compared myself to my mom," Kelley says. "And that might be surprising to some people, but I am my own person. My mom has never made me feel like I have to be in her shadow." In fact, it wasn't until she began training at the elite level herself that Kelley says she finally understood what her mother accomplished, telling Tiger Rag, "I think that's when it kind of really hit me. Like this is really hard, and my mom is literally a professional at it."

McKenna Kelley hosts an annual gymnastics tournament with mom

Although she may have hung up her competition leotard after college, 26-year-old McKenna Kelley is still an avid fan and supporter of the sport that bonds the females in her family. She and her mother combined their powerful forces, not to mention talent, to create an annual gymnastics tour appropriately titled "For Mothers and Daughters Forever Our Legacy." Open to beginner through junior-level competitors, the annual event supports not only young female athletes but also raises awareness for mental health issues, something that Kelley, according to a YouTube video, has struggled with herself. 

Kelley, who, in a Q&A with Nastia Liukin Cup, once described herself as a "strong, confident, and positive" gymnast, started the McKenna Kelley Foundation as a way to support non-profits that provide mental health services to people in need. A portion of proceeds from Forever Our Legacy gymnastic meets are donated to the foundation that, according to its website, strives to give those struggling with mental health issues the information and tools they need to get back on the path to feeling good again. Kelley believes so strongly in the need for accessibility and education that, according to her LinkedIn profile, she became a Child in Sports Consultant in 2022 to help young athletes stay on top of their game by helping them develop the mental clarity, focus, and strength necessary to overcome challenges both in sports and in life.

Like her older sister McKenna Kelley is a YouTube vlogger

The family that vlogs together stays together, or something like that. Turns out a love of gymnastics isn't the only tie that binds the sisters. Like her big sis Shayla Schrepfer, McKenna Kelley is also a social media star with a successful YouTube vlog that boasts more than 10,000 subscribers. It's a platform where the gregarious Kelley shares a lot of wholesome fun and family content while also tackling more serious issues — namely, her battle with depression following a sports-related injury. 

Although she occasionally seems to take a break from the platform, she jumps back on sporadically to share her favorite Amazon finds, answer viewer questions, offer packing tips and other useful advice, and provide a glimpse into her daily routines. Unlike other young social media stars who are all about the filters and the fame, Kelley's channel feels more like having a chat with your very real and down-to-earth bestie, who, oh yeah, is also an elite athlete. 

Skyla Kelley chooses cheer

Skyla Kelley is the next-to-youngest daughter of the Kelley clan and the only one who took the road less tumbled by her mom and sibs. While it's true that she, like the rest of Retton's daughters, was put on a balance beam practically from the time she could toddle, the 23-year-old found athletic success as a competitive cheerleader. Kelley discovered her love of cheer in high school, competing for four years before attending Texas Tech University, where she graduated in May 2023. 

While you might think that being the one holdout of the gymnastics-obsessed family would be challenging, that's not the case. Just because she was cheering on the sidelines doesn't mean that her family wasn't cheering front and center for her achievements. Judging by her Instagram feed which is filled with family photos, Kelley is just as supported in her life choices as her sisters, something mom Mary Lou Retton was determined to ensure. In an interview with Parade, Retton shares her parenting philosophy saying, "Top priority is being mom and watching these kids compete in their gymnastics seasons and cheer seasons and just trying to be the best mother and wife I can be while still holding my spokesperson roles and speeches." She adds, "My role is to love them no matter what, have that shoulder for them to cry on if they're hurt or frustrated and the big hug and happiness when they've succeeded."

Emma Kelley vaults her way to the top

She may be the baby of the family, but Emma Kelley is a strong woman in her own right. And, although she looks the least like her famous mom, the 21-year-old University of Arkansas student did inherit the gymnastics gene. A level 10 gymnast since 2016, Kelley took fourth in all-around at the 2016 Texas State Championships, where she earned the top scores in vault and floor. Following her high school success, Kelley went on to join the University of Arkansas gymnastic team, where she continues to excel in competitions. 

When she's not launching herself across a mat or showing off her vaulting skills, the youngest Kelley sib is honing her fashion skills. She and Mary Lou Retton collaborated on a line of leotards for the brand Foxy's. Their collection has an all-American vibe (naturally) and features positive and uplifting messages like "Reach for the Stars and Stripes" and "Be the Light." Not only did the mother/daughter duo design the line, they modeled it on the company's website because, let's face it, who better to symbolize what it means to rock the American gymnastics dream?