I watch the TODAY Show every morning and was excited to see them promote an opportunity to participate in the Fanzone during the Olympic coverage. It seemed like fate: my daughter and I were just about to leave for New York City the next day. Our itinerary was already packed, so I requested tickets for our last day in town: today, August 5th.
Boy, did we luck out! This was the day that Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker were back from Tokyo — along with the US Women’s Gymnastics Team!!!
I cannot describe my excitement at seeing these incredible athletes up close and personal. And though I knew they were tiny, they were TINY! I am only 5’5″ and was taller than all of them.
I’m sure they were exhausted, jet-lagged, and just wanted to go home, but they graciously answered questions and stopped to sign autographs as well.
The TODAY staff had a surprise in store for Suni Lee: she would be reunited with her family live on TODAY. We’ve watched clips of her childhood entry into gymnastics and knew the story of her father’s unfortunate fall just weeks before she left for the Olympics. He has recovered very well, but is still in a wheelchair. Suni hugged her family and Team USA continued their interviews before Suni then pushed her father’s wheelchair off the Rockefeller Center Plaza.
Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker
I’m an early bird, but getting up at 5:00am to check into the Plaza at 6:00am came early. It was totally worth it, though. Hoda, Savannah and Al were all there, mixing with the crowd and talking to us all. It was fun watching them chat with the fans in the fan zone and answer questions about their time in Tokyo. But my favorite moments were watching Hoda dance. She is a ball of happy energy! It was infectious.
Even better, she graciously took selfies with everyone who asked and has the perfect arm length to do it.
After the Olympians left, they continued to film the show outdoors. We were there for hours that flew by like minutes. So much energy! Such fun! It was a definite highlight of our trip and I hope the next time we’re in New York, we can do it again.
That’s what happened today on TODAY.
What did you do today?
Isn’t it amazing how travel can be so serendipitous? How fortunate you were to score tickets for such a momentous day. It sounds like an experience you’ll remember forever!
That is exactly how I felt! How lucky to be in the right place at the right time to see the US Women’s gymnastics team. A dream come true!
What a fun experience, glad you got to see something cool and fun in the Big Apple, what a fun things to do.
We had one great experience after another. Definitely a great trip to NYC!
What fun! I’ve never done anything like that but would like to – once pandemic concerns subside. Thanks for the cool insights and nice to see that they fed you traditional Japanese food.
We were very pleased that this experience was limited to vaccinated fans only. We had to show proof as we entered. Made it feel much safer to be in a small crowd.
What fun! I always mean to do something like this when I visit NYC, but never think of it in time!
Put it on your radar for next time. It was a lot of fun.
What an amazing experience to share with your daughter. The Olympics are an institution that offers athletes a world stage to showcase the results of their hard work.
It was amazing. I am a huge Olympics fan, so this was the ultimate experience for me.
How cool! And your selfie with Hoda (and your adorable daughter) is great!
Thanks. Hoda takes much better selfies than I ever do. 🙂
Great experience. One’s sporting heroes are generally very grounded, grateful for their success and willing to share a little with their admirers. The female stars in particular seem to realise that they are role models for young girls – the USA soccer players like Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan et al are great ambassadors. Biles is a household name around the world but she was there at your event along with her teammates.
I couldn’t agree with you more, Roy. This generation embodies what it means to be a role model more than any other generation I’ve seen. Maybe because they’re all so accessible now? Which also lends itself to the added pressures of being famous. I was thrilled to see them and listen to their interviews. What a lucky day to be in NY!