Gymnastics, an event now often viewed as feminine, was not an event open to women until 1952 although men had been competing in it since the first Games in 1896. A sport greatly dominated by Eastern European countries, it was not until the 1984 Los Angeles Games that an American won a gymnastics event. The American was sixteen-year-old Mary Lou Retton from West Virginia. Retton, born in 1968, started taking gymnastics after watching the 1976 Olympics and through her hard work and talent, she found herself making Olympic history. In a close competition for the All-Around event, Retton scored a perfect 10 on the last section, the vault, beating her competitor Romanian Ecaterina Szabo with a score of 79.175 compared to her 79.125. This made her the first American to receive a gold medal in gymnastics. At the Olympics that year she also won an individual silver medal in the vault with a score of 19.80, a silver for membership on the U.S. team, and two bronze medals in the uneven bars and floor exercise, scoring 19.800 and 19.775 respectively. Her five medals were the most won by any athlete at that Olympics. Rettons’s historic performance earned her the title of “Sportswoman of the Year” for 1984 according to Sports Illustrated Magazine and “Amateur Athlete of the Year” by the Associated Press.