Shayla Rae Kelley, born on April 12, 1995 in Houston, Texas, United States is the first daughter of the popularized American retired gymnast, Mary Lou Retton.
Mary Lou Retton is well recognized for her emergence as the winner of the gold medal in the all-round competition in 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Also, she won two silver medals and two bronze medals. Her performance earned her a spot as one of the most popular athletes in the United States.
However, It is quite impossible to focus on Shayla without mentioning about her mother and the feats she accomplished in her days of glory as a young gymnast.
Shayla Rae Kelley: Career – as an acrobatics & tumbling student-athlete at Baylor
Back in Houston where she was born, Shayla attended Second Baptist school in Houston, then proceeded to complete club gymnastics at Aerial Port Gymnastics from 2009-2012 and Stars Houston from 2012-2013.
She was the level nine regional vault champion and also the level nine state all-round champion. She participated in Student Council, Bible Club, Key Club, and Internet Club.
In 2014, she didn’t participate in gymnastics as a result of a knee injury she sustained, hence her sitting out her freshman year. Shayla had torn her ACL while tumbling as a freshman and underwent surgery about a month later, which somehow opened the doors to be a part of an undefeated Baylor team.
In 2015, as a sophomore, she participated in all seven meets and went ahead to qualify for two events at National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA) Individual Championships.
Thanks to her unrelenting hardwork, she was able to put up an impressive performance that earned her a spot to be named to Big 12 Commissioner’s Honour Roll for spring semester.
In 2016, she participated in all 10 meets and qualified for three events at National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA) Individual Championships and won one – Pyramid Flip Heat.
Additionally, she recorded impression 9.9 with team in heat three of the toss vs. Quinnipiac. She proceeded to post a 9.85 in heat three of the toss event vs. Oregon.
Also, she helped her team post a perfect 10 in heat one of the pyramid event vs. Alderson Broaddus. Following that, she received a 9.85 in heat three of the macro event vs. Adrian and Fairmount State.
Prior to that, in 2015, Shayla noted that the sport of acrobatics and tumbling “gives me my own journey, kind of, because my sisters are competitors in gymnastics and my mom was, so now I kind of have my own sport.”
It is obvious how much love she has for her sport, and the fact that her family is supporting her every step of the way is an addition.
Shayla believes that they’re very good at tumbling. “I think tumbling is our best event. We’re very strong with that.” She stated at an interview after her comeback from injury.
Family Life – all Shayla Rae Kelley
Shayla grew up alongside three sisters; McKenna Lane Kelley, 24, Skyla Rae Kelley, 21, and Emma Jean Kelley, 19. McKenna is currently a retired artistic gymnast, while nothing much is in the records about Skyla, this leaves Emma, the youngest Kelley as a level 10 gymnast from Fun & Fitness Gymnastics in Richmond, Texas, who has competed at that distinction since the start of 2016
As stated earlier, she is the daughter of a decorated retired gymnast, Mary Lou Retton and Shannon Kelley. Shannon Kelley, Shayla’s father is a former American football quarterback. He was the starting quarterback of the Texas Longhorns in the beginning of 1988. After graduating, he married their mother, Mary, and after pursuing a business career, went into college coaching. He’s currently the assistant head football coach at Houston Baptist University.
Early enough, Mary enrolled all of her four daughters in gymnastics classes, even though she didn’t “put pressure on them.”
On April 25, 2019, during an interview, “I put my four daughters into a sport that I love. It’s woven into every fabric of my being. We’re a gymnastics family,” she shared. “Three stuck with it, one was a cheerleader. Her path was different than mine and I’m so proud of everything.”
This proves how much of an affect her gymnastics life had on her daughters.