: Simone Biles Explains to Team USA that Hoda Kotb is the ‘Gymnastics Olympic Mother’

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    by Sidney Hunt
    Published: July 2, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

    — As the world gears up for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the atmosphere is buzzing with excitement and anticipation. Athletes from around the globe are preparing to showcase their skills on the grandest stage of all. Among them, the U.S. gymnastics team is drawing significant attention, not just for their athletic prowess but for a heartwarming tradition that has developed within their ranks.

    In an exclusive interview with NBC, gymnastics superstar Simone Biles shared a touching insight into the team’s dynamics and the unique role played by Today Show co-anchor Hoda Kotb. Biles, who is making her return to the Olympics after her historic performance in Tokyo 2020 and subsequent break, described Kotb as the ‘Gymnastics Olympic Mother’ of Team USA.

    “Hoda has been with us through thick and thin,” Biles explained. “She’s not just a journalist; she’s family. She’s been our cheerleader, our confidante, and our source of comfort. We all look up to her, and having her around feels like having a piece of home with us.”

    Kotb’s involvement with the gymnastics team began during the Rio 2016 Olympics, where her enthusiastic and supportive coverage endeared her to both the athletes and fans alike. Since then, she has maintained a close relationship with the team, often providing emotional support and encouragement during major competitions.

    “Hoda’s energy is contagious,” said Sunisa Lee, the all-around champion from Tokyo 2020. “She’s always there with a smile, a hug, or just the right words to calm our nerves. It’s incredible how much she understands us and what we go through.”

    As the team prepared for the Paris Games, Kotb’s presence has been more significant than ever. With the added pressures of a global pandemic and the heightened expectations following their stellar performances in previous Olympics, the athletes have found solace in Kotb’s unwavering support.

    “Hoda has this amazing ability to connect with each of us on a personal level,” said Jordan Chiles, who is also returning to the Olympics. “She knows our stories, our struggles, and our triumphs. She makes us feel seen and heard, and that means the world to us.”

    Biles highlighted a particular instance that solidified Kotb’s status as the ‘Gymnastics Olympic Mother.’ During a particularly tough training session, Kotb surprised the team with a heartfelt video message from their families back home. The gesture brought tears and smiles, reminding the athletes of the love and support waiting for them regardless of the outcome in Paris.

    “It’s those little things that make a big difference,” Biles said. “Hoda understands that we’re not just athletes; we’re people with emotions and fears. She brings a sense of normalcy and warmth that we all need.”

    As the Paris Olympics unfold, the bond between Kotb and the gymnastics team is expected to shine brightly. Fans can look forward to exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage, heartfelt interviews, and moments of genuine connection that showcase the human side of these extraordinary athletes.

    In the words of Simone Biles, “Having Hoda by our side makes us feel like we can conquer anything. She’s our rock, our inspiration, and our Olympic mother.”

    With such a strong support system in place, Team USA’s gymnasts are ready to soar to new heights, driven by the spirit of unity, resilience, and the unconditional love of their ‘Gymnastics Olympic Mother.’

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