Olympics: Finishing First, At Last

Led by Mary Lou, U.S. gymnasts fly high

The night before the finals in women's gymnastics last week, Mary Lou Retton, 16, lay in bed at the Olympic Village, conjuring. It was an established ritual for her, no different from the imaginings of a hundred other nights. "I see myself hitting all my routines, doing everything perfectly," says Retton. "I imagine all the moves and go through them with the image in my mind." The following day, the spunky Retton led the U.S. team through a stylish and rousingly high-flying performance. The...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!