Hoda Kotb Skips 'Today' After Attending 2024 Olympic Gymnastic Trials

Hoda Kotb kicked off her week cheering on the 2024 U.S. Women’s Olympics gymnastics team instead of joining her colleagues on Today.

Kotb, 59, was absent from the Monday, July 1, episode of Today after attending the final night of the gymnastics Olympic trials at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Also taking a break from the NBC morning show were Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker, with Sheinelle Jones, Peter Alexander and Dylan Dreyer filling in for the group during Today’s first two hours.

At the Sunday, June 30, trials, Kotb sat alongside Simone Biles and Jordan Chiles’ families. “Fam love🫶,” Today’s Instagram page captioned selfies Kotb took with the athletes’ relatives, including Biles’ husband, Jonathan Owens.

She also hung out with the gymnasts before and after the meet. “Let’s go!” Kotb cheered in another Today Instagram video, which showed her greeting Biles, 27, Chiles, 23, and Suni Lee with hugs and encouraging messages on the floor.

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Biles, Chiles, and Lee, 21, will be joined by returning teammate Jade Carey and first-time Olympian Hezly Rivera at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, which kick off on July 26. Fellow competitors Joscelyn Roberson and Leanne Wong will serve as alternates.

Biles said making her third Olympic team felt like a “redemption tour” in a sit-down interview with Kotb that aired on Monday’s Today episode. “In Tokyo, we all didn’t have our best performances, so we’re excited to go out there and kill it,” she explained.

At the 2020 Tokyo Games, Biles pulled out of multiple events due to the “twisties,” a term used to describe a gymnast’s loss of control while spinning through the air. In addition to training to prepare for the Paris Games, Biles has also become an advocate for mental health and wellness by discussing her personal experiences.

Lee filled in for Biles during the Tokyo women’s all-around competition, ultimately winning the gold medal. Much like Biles, however, she has faced health issues leading up to this year’s Olympics, having battled two kinds of kidney disease.

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“It feels absolutely insane. It was just such a hard, incredible journey,” Lee told Kotb. “There were so many times where I thought about quitting and just giving up because I was so sick, and it was just so hard to stay motivated, watching everybody get better and I can’t even get back into the gym, and constantly self-doubting myself. But once I had those people around me who lifted me up and supported me, I knew that this is something that I wanted.”

Hoda Kotb Absent From Today to Hang With US Womens Olympic Gymnastics Team Suni Lee, Simone Biles, Hezly Rivera, Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

(L-R) Suni Lee, Simone Biles, Hezly Rivera, Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey pose after being selected for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team on Day Four of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Gymnastics Trials at Target Center on June 30, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

During her interview with the gymnasts, Kotb pitched a handful of nicknames for this year’s team, including the “Fantastic Five,” “Phenomenal Five” and the “Fearless Five.” Though the group were not big fans of the options, Biles noted that their nickname should be a bit “younger.”

“Ask the TikTokers,” she quipped. “They’ll think of something.”

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