Nov. 15, 2011 at 11:52 AM ET
Just a day after a report revealed that former tennis star Anna Kournikova won’t return to her training duties on “The Biggest Loser” next season and that some current contestants find her to be “a bit brash,” the latest ousted “Loser” stopped by TODAY to credit Kournikova with much of his success.
Joe Mitchell, who according to a recent update lost 118 pounds since first participating in the weight loss competition, had plenty of praise for the trio of trainers from the show.
“Anna did so much for me — all three of the trainers, Bob (Harper), Dolvett (Quince) and Anna, they were so tremendous,” he said. But as for Kournikova, he added, “I’m going to miss seeing her because she’s such a tremendous lady.”
What impressed Mitchell the most was that Kournikova’s focus went beyond the physical aspects of weight loss.
“Anna worked so much on my thinking,” he explained. “You know, Bob was tremendous. He helped me realize weight loss was possible. Anna just really kind of hammered home that I could do it, and I think it was her tennis background, because you have to count on yourself. ‘You can do this!’ And it finally clicked. I was pretty hardheaded, but after a while, it clicked and it prepared me to go home.”
Since going home, Mitchell’s taken advantage of the new body Kournikova helped him get. After years of avoiding riding roller coasters with his kids simply because he couldn’t fit behind the safety bars, he’s now making up for lost time.
“(Riding a roller coaster) was awesome,” he raved. “I was a little nervous. I wanted to make sure I heard that click, but I did and it was awesome.”
See the remaining “Biggest Loser” contestants, as well as Kournikova, who’s still in the game for now, Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
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