Give these moms a perfect 10 for raising such dynamite athletes.
The six members of the United States Women's Gymnastics Team — Simone Biles, MyKayla Skinner, Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee, Jade Carey and Grace McCallum — will compete in the Tokyo Olympics and will have their mothers right behind them.
The women who raised the young Olympians sat down for a virtual interview with TODAY's Hoda Kotb that aired Wednesday, and they all agreed that watching their children arrive at this point is a thrill.
“It's totally amazing,” Kym Skinner said. “It's surreal. (I'm) so happy that MyKayla finally did this and made her dream. It's awesome. We're so excited to be a part of this team.”
Biles, the most decorated gymnast of all time, is already an Olympic legend, winning five medals — including four gold — at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, but her mom, Nellie Biles, said she is still in awe her daughter is part of another Olympic team.
“It's still a surreal feeling,” she said. “It doesn't get old. It just feels, this time around, even more special.”
Biles’ mom also said her daughter and Chiles have a connection that helps both of them.
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“Simone really pushes because she pushes herself,” Nellie Biles said. “And I see her doing the same thing, too, with Jordan. And that bond has just — I mean, they fight, believe me. They do fight. We don't get into it. I don't get in the way because the next minute, they're hugging. That's a special relationship that they have.”
Chiles’ mother, Gina, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud last year and was supposed to begin her prison sentence the day of the women’s team final, was given an extension of her prison start date, now in late August. She told Hoda she’s trying to embrace her daughter’s accomplishment.
“Every moment that I watch Jordan is the most amazing moment as a mom,” she said, fighting back tears. “And so I just am looking at it as not bittersweet, but just a sweet period that she's here.”
The six gymnasts are part of a very elite club, participating in Olympic competition, a dream that millions of people will never reach. How did their moms help get them here?
“Honestly, we were just looking for an outlet for Grace because we found her one day trying to climb the brick on our fireplace. And she was a really shy kid,” Sandy McCallum said.
“And so we were just looking for a way for her to get out and meet other people and not hang on Mom's leg all the time. And the minute she walked in the gym, she was, like, ‘I'm home.’”
The athletes have also had to overcome adversity. Lee’s father became paralyzed after a fall and her family lost loved ones to COVID-19.
“It's pretty amazing that she actually made it this far,” her mom, Yeev Thoj, said. “I'm just super proud that she actually made it.”
The gymnasts now stand on the cusp of greatness, so leave it to their mothers to offer advice before they give it their all on the world stage.
“I definitely will tell Simone to be the best Simone,” Nellie Biles said.
”Our common saying is, ‘You got this.’ And just go out there and do your best,” Kym Skinner shared.
Carey’s mother, Danielle Greenberg, added: “I tell her every time, I just say, ‘Go kill it. And have fun.’”