The U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team for the Tokyo Olympics was announced late Sunday, introducing a mix of familiar faces and new talents.
The team will feature Simone Biles, MyKayla Skinner, Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee, Jade Carey and Grace McCallum. Biles, Chiles, Lee and McCallum will compete in team events, while Skinner and Carey will compete as individuals.
TODAY's Hoda Kotb was able to speak to all six gymnasts at the Olympic trials in St. Louis, Missouri, where the young athletes qualified for the team.
"The energy here last night was electric when it was announced," Hoda said. "There is some serious star power on this team."
Biles said that even though she's an Olympic veteran, she was excited to make the cut for the Tokyo team after a routine that didn't meet her personal standards.
"I'm a little bit older, so I get tired quicker," Biles said. "I was really happy, but I was just sad because everybody came out here to watch us and I didn't give them my best performance. But at the end of the day, it is what it is."
Skinner, also 24, said that as the oldest member of the team by three months, it's been tough to get to this point.
She was an alternate for the Rio Games, which meant that she traveled with the team and would have competed if one of the other gymnasts was injured. Skinner also was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this year and was hospitalized, which made it even more difficult to compete this year.
"I survived, but I wanted to give up so many times," Skinner said. "I was like, 'I don't even know if I can do this anymore.' But I feel like just having these girls and my family having my back through it all has really helped me to get to where I am today."
For 20-year-old Chiles — who was named after basketball legend Michael Jordan — her Olympic moment will be shared with one of her good friends: Biles.
The two have been photographed together at multiple tournaments, and when Chiles made the team, Biles wrapped her in a huge hug.
Chiles said qualifying for the team was "honestly the most amazing feeling" in her life.
"I already, at the beginning, was kind of tearing up. But I didn't know what the outcome was going to be, so I just wanted to go out there and really show everybody who I am as a person," Chiles said. "And having (Biles) by my side 24/7 and giving me encouraging words every day definitely helped and it was very motivational. Very happy to have someone like her."
McCallum, 18, said that when it comes to completing routines, the gymnasts just have to trust themselves and know that they're capable.
"I think you just have to remember 'I've done a thousand of these routines in the gym,'" she said. "You just have to trust yourself and trust your gymnastics and that you know what you're doing."
For Lee, 18, who goes by Suni, the moment she made the team was a dream come true for her and for her father, who was paralyzed in an accident two years ago. Hoda said that his emotional reaction to his daughter's success caught her eye.
"It took me a minute to realize that I was going to the Olympics, but I looked up there and I knew that he was very emotional and so was the rest of my family," said Lee.
Lee said that her family has supported her through the entire Olympic journey, and that her father has been her most steadfast fan.
"This has been our biggest dream for the longest, basically, since I was a baby," Lee said. "He's been at my side through everything and he's gone to all my competitions with me. So to have him there at the Olympic trials with me is something that was so amazing."
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, international athletes will not be able to have their families present at the Tokyo Games, so Lee's family will be watching at home.
Carey, 21, is one of the lucky few whose parent is also their coach, so her father will be the only team parent there.
"I'm really excited and I'm really glad (I have) Dad to share it with," Carey said. "He's been my coach for the longest time and I'm just really happy that we're going to be there together."
CORRECTION (July 22, 2021, 11:45 a.m.): An earlier version of this story misstated one of the two Team USA gymnasts competing in individual events at the Olympics. It is Jade Carey, not Grace McCallum.