TODAY   |  May 08, 2012

Olympic hopefuls say, ‘Thank you, Mom’

With just 80 days to go until the Olympics begin in London, a new commercial shows Olympic athletes giving thanks to their biggest fans—their mothers. TODAY’s Matt Lauer reports, then chats with Olympic hopeful, gymnast Jordyn Wieber.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> 80 days away. mother's day is coming up this weekend. and because those two events are converging, there's a great new ad online that is thanking moms for the work they do for olympic hopefuls. and it's getting a lot of play. in the last week alone about 7 million people have watched it. take a look.

>> time to get up.

>> wake up.

>> p&g, proud sponsor of moms.

>> and joining us here on the plaza, some of the top olympic hopefuls in the country. we have gymnasts, swimmers, track and field athletes, tae kwon do, weightlifters welcome. and moms, as well. welcome. and over here i've got 16-year-old jordan weaver who is the 2011 world champion in the all-around gymnastics and she is joined by her mom rita . nice to see the two of you. and you're attempting to make your very first olympic team at this stage of the game are you nervous, excited, what?

>> a little bit of both. i'm definitely more excited. but it's going to be a fun journey and i'm looking forward to it.

>> you have spent an awful lot of time, rita , supporting your daughter.

>> yeah.

>> in this cause. has it always been a labor of love, or have there been times where you thought, why don't we go off and do something else?

>> you know, for the 99% of it has been a labor of love. it's been fun. there's always the ups and downs that the moms go through but it's been great.

>> how do you draw a line between encouraging and pushing?

>> i leave the pushing to the coaches. i just make sure she's fed and sleeping and give her all the support she needs and the coaches can do the pushing.

>> jordan talk to me a little bit about what role your mom and your family have played in your success so far?

>> my mom and my family have been so great through my whole gymnastics career. from the very beginning. they drove me to practice every single day, every day of the week and they've made so many sacrifices so i can follow my dreams and reach my goal.

>> we're hoping to see you in london . i have a feeling that we probably will be seeing you there. rita , you'll be making the trip, as well?

>> absolutely.

>> happy mother's day.

>> thank you.

>> good luck to you.

>> to my left over here i've got one of the greatest swimmers in the world right now, ryan lockty. he is hoping to make his third olympic team. he's here with his mom. nice to see the two of you. ryan do you think enough is said about the role that families and moms, since mother's day is coming, play in the lives of athletes?

>> oh, it's a big part. i mean my mom has been there through everything. and she's been there through thick and thin, and she's supported me my whole entire life, and i mean, i love her.

>> and you're crying already. imagine what's going to happen in london . how are you going to survive?

>> i hide. nobody ever sees me.

>> that's true. you go to all of these swimming meets and you don't tell anybody where you are and you just kind of hide out in the crowd. why is that so important to you?

>> so i can cry.

>> she's a real crier.

>> you know, i show my emotions all the time, and so i want to do that, and i don't want to be in front of all these people.

>> i mean you must be so proud of your son.

>> i am.

>> what he's accomplished. he has gotten better with every passing year.

>> he has. every year i think -- there hasn't been one year that he hasn't improved on his teams from 2004 -- actually 2000 when he missed making the olympic trials to 2004 where he actually made. every time he swam in a big meet he swam best times.

>> it was fine. we're going to --

>> he drank some water that he wasn't supposed to drink.

>> ryan , good luck to you as you head for the olympics as well. 80 days away. happy mother's day to you. pardon me for crossing. let me say hi to jody allen of procter & gamble which is an olympic sponsor.

>> i am superexcited. thank you to all of these incredible, incredible moms. and to my own mom. i have to say, we asked the u.s. olympic committee how we could best support these fantastic moms and what they told us is help them get to london . and so i'm super excited, we are nounsing that we're giving a gift of $1,000 to the nearly 800 moms of the olympians and paralympians to get to london .

>> and once they get there you're pampering them.

>> you got to believe it. we're opening a p&g family home that will have services including meals. it will have the ability to get a makeover. or your hair done. so we can pamper all these great moms. so it's really going to be a wonderful experience.

>> and what's going to be nice for ike is you'll be able to give her mascara.

>> you better believe it. we'll