WLF Inspirational Series
MONDAY, OCTOBER 10 AT 7:00 P.M.
Herrick Chapel at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois
Judson University welcomed American gymnast and Olympic champion Mary Lou Retton as our keynote speaker for the World Leaders Forum Inspirational Series. The Chicagoland community joined Judson leaders and students in hearing Retton’s inspiring message of faith, optimism and leadership. General admission tickets were $60. Upgraded tickets were are also available for $100 (priority seating) and $500 (priority seating plus a photo session with Retton and a special commemorative gift).
MARY LOU RETTON INSPIRES JOY AT JUDSON UNIVERSITY
Photos courtesy of Judson University.
(ELGIN, IL – Oct. 10, 2016) Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton has been retired from gymnastics for more than 30 years, but tonight Chicagoland learned why her message continues to inspire people decades later. Capturing hearts with her zest for a joyful life, she spoke to an audience of approximately 300 people at Judson University as part of Judson’s annual World Leaders Forum Inspirational Series.
“Gold medalist gymnasts aren’t supposed to come from small West Virginia coal mining towns, but I was presented with an opportunity and I went for it,” Retton told the crowd. “When you are presented with a doorway of opportunity, you have to enter and push through – because you don’t know if that door will be in front of you again.”
Retton also answered questions from Judson students and other audience members. The topics included her 1984 gold medal experience, her story of overcoming obstacles and adversity, the role of faith in sports, the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, and advice for young athletes.
“Mary Lou Retton radiates happiness, and she connects to people not just through her athletic success, but through her belief in the power of faith and optimism,” said Judson University President Dr. Gene Crume. “She truly embodies the motivational spirit of the World Leaders Forum Inspirational Series.”
Mary Lou Retton catapulted to international fame in 1984, when she became the first American ever to win the Olympic all-around gold medal in women’s gymnastics. Additionally, she won silver medals in the team and vault competitions, and bronze medals for uneven bars and floor exercise. Her five medals were the most won by any athlete at the 1984 Olympic Games. She was honored as the Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year and the Associated Press Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1984.
Retton went on to become a worldwide motivational speaker and fitness ambassador for good nutrition and regular exercise. She has served as the national chairperson for the Children’s Miracle Network Board of Governors, as a commentator at the 1988 and 1996 Olympic Games, and in several other media roles. Retton also is the author of Mary Lou Retton’s Gateways to Happiness: 7 Ways to a More Peaceful, More Accomplished, More Satisfying Life. She and her husband have four daughters.
About the World Leaders Forum Inspirational Series
The goal of the World Leaders Forum Inspirational Series is to offer Judson students and the Chicagoland community an opportunity to be inspired by significant thought leaders. In the inaugural event last year, Nick Vujicic, who was born without legs or arms, carried a memorable message of appreciating life and finding happiness. Judson’s sister event, the World Leaders Forum, has featured former heads of state including President George W. Bush, Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and Mexican President Felipe Calderón; as well as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan.
All proceeds are donated to Judson University’s Entrepreneurship Program and the World Leaders Forum Scholarship Fund and are put towards educating tomorrow’s leaders. In addition to financial aid, Judson Leadership Scholars have access to unique opportunities for cultivating leadership skills through the World Leaders Forum and monthly meetings with the Judson President. Student scholars receive leadership training and financial aid based on their academic merit, leadership qualities, and financial need. To be eligible, a student must show attributes of entrepreneurship, creativity, leadership, innovation, mission and faith.
DAILY HERALD - "Mary Lou Retton at Judson: I achieved what I always dreamed of "
DAILY HERALD - "Mary Lou Retton on being 'America's sweetheart,' retiring at 18"
CHICAGO TRIBUNE - "'Meeting challenges' won Retton Olympic gold, she tells Judson crowd"
ABOUT MARY LOU RETTON
MARY LOU RETTON
1984 Gold Olympic Medal Winner
Retton catapulted to international fame when she won the all-around gold medal in women’s gymnastics at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. She was the first American woman to ever do so. Additionally, she won silver medals in the team and vault competitions, and bronze medals for uneven bars and floor exercise. Her five medals were the most won by any athlete at the 1984 Olympics. She was honored as the Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year and the Associated Press Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1984.
Retton has since become a worldwide motivational speaker and fitness ambassador for good nutrition and regular exercise. She has served as the national chairperson for the Children’s Miracle Network Board of Governors, as a commentator at the 1988 and 1996 Olympic Games, and in several other media roles. She also is the author of Mary Lou Retton’s Gateways to Happiness: 7 Ways to a More Peaceful, More Accomplished, More Satisfying Life. Retton and her husband, former Texas Longhorns quarterback Shannon Kelley, have four daughters.
BECOME A SPONSOR
As a sponsor of the World Leaders Forum, you are partnering with a regionally recognized event known for bringing significant thought leaders to the Chicagoland community. Click here for sponsorship information.