3. Mary Lou Retton: First Female on the Cover
Twenty-six years after Wheaties began featuring athletes on its cover, Mary Lou Retton became the first female athlete to accomplish such a feat. Though not the first female athlete to stand proud on a Wheaties panel, Retton was Wheaties’ first cover girl. Retton captivated the world audience in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, where she became the first woman outside of Eastern Europe, and consequently the first American woman, to win the All Around gymnastics competition. During the event, Retton scored perfect 10s in her awe-inspiring floor routine and final vaults. Such a stellar performance awarded her a gold medal and a trip to the orange box. Hoisting four additional medals, Retton won more medals than any other athlete the 1984 Olympics. Outside the Olympics, Retton accumulated three American Cup Titles, among other awards, before deciding to retire from gymnastics in 1985.