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SBD/August 14, 2012/Olympics
U.S. Gold Medalists Waste No Time Hitting The Talk Show Circuit After Arriving Home
Published August 14, 2012
The ritual of Gold Medal-winning Olympians hitting the talk show circuit is well under way, with Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon all welcoming members of Team USA to their shows last night. Gymnast GABBY DOUGLAS appeared on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” alongside First Lady MICHELLE OBAMA, where she let Obama and Leno hold one of her Gold Medals. Leno asked, “How did you get through the metal detector at the airport?” He noted Douglas was a two-time Gold Medalist at just 16 years old and said, “I have no conception of this being 16-years-old. I was working at McDonald’s.” Douglas: “It (didn’t) really sink in on the podium but ... it’s definitely sunk in now.” After the competitions were over, Douglas said to celebrate, “I splurged on an Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s.” Douglas said she was “definitely” going to compete at the '16 Rio de Janeiro Games, to which Leno said, “So it’s four years till your next Egg McMuffin.” Leno handed the Gold Medal back to Douglas and said, “Here is your medal. I don’t even deserve to hold this. Here you go. Thank you so much. Gabby, we’re all so proud of you” (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 8/13).
WEATHER REPORT: Douglas and her four gymnastics teammates were on NBC's "Today" this morning, and NBC’s Al Roker said they were going to “help him with the fierce five-day forecast.” The five members each gave the forecast for their hometowns, with ALY RAISMAN saying of Needham, Mass., “Today is going to be a high of 89 and partly sunny, so go outside, go to the beach and get tanned.” KYLA ROSS told residents of Aliso Viejo, Calif., “You might need your sunglasses today because it’s going to be warm, sunny and breezy.” Later in the broadcast, the “Fierce Five” answered questions from three small, aspiring gymnasts, with one asking are they ready to stop training and be normal teenagers. Douglas said, “We’re just regular teenagers. We like talking about boys and shoes” ("Today," NBC, 8/14).
JUST THE TEN OF US: Decathlete ASHTON EATON appeared on CBS' "Late Show” last night, with host David Letterman saying, “The decathlon, this is the epitome of true athleticism, this man excels in everything else that people specialize in individually." Eaton said, “It's pretty typical of decathletes that you never choose to do the decathlon, it kind of chooses you. And after doing as many as I've done, I would never advise someone to try it.” Halfway through the interview, Eaton said to Letterman, “You have the wrong guest actually.” Letterman asked, “What happened?” Eaton: “I do the food decathlon. I eat 10 different items, as much as I can. I don't do 10 sports. Wrong guy.” Letterman replied deadpanned, “They don’t give a Gold Medal for comedy.” Letterman handed Eaton a discus and asked, “Why is this an event, honest to God?” Eaton: “Do you actually want to know the history?” Letterman replied, “Well, I ... no.” When asked if he wanted to wear the Gold Medal, Letterman said, “Again, it’s one of these deals where I couldn’t feel like a bigger loser.” Eaton: “I was wearing the U.S. uniform. This is America’s Gold Medal” (“Late Show,” CBS, 8/13). Meanwhile, Leno in his monologue congratulated Eaton for winning the Gold and said, "Hopefully, he will not do what many great American decathletes have done. You know, get bad plastic surgery and marry a Kardashian" ("The Tonight Show," NBC, 8/13).
THE THUNDER ROLLS: KEVIN DURANT and JAMES HARDEN, who both were members of the men's basketball team in London, appeared on NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” last night, and Fallon said, “We are really proud of you guys. Thank you so much for doing this. This is awesome. Are you still partying?” Durant: “Of course.” Fallon asked, “Do you know where you are? You’re in New York.” Durant: “I figured that out when I landed.” Both Durant and Harden were low-key during the interview so Fallon said jokingly, “You guys are both so jet-lagged. You have no idea where you are.” The men’s U.S. basketball team stayed at a hotel and not at the Olympic Village during the Games, with Fallon saying, “I pictured like a ‘Real World’ where you guys are all in bunk beds.” Durant: “I wanted to stay at the Village. I just wanted to get the whole experience" (“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” NBC, 8/13).
LADIES FIRST: Beach volleyball player MISTY MAY-TREANOR and swimmer DANA VOLLMER appeared on ABC’s “GMA,” where May-Treanor said winning the Gold in London with partner KERRI WALSH JENNINGS, their third Olympic Gold Medal, was the “sweetest one because we knew we were kind of nearing the end.” Vollmer said she is “going to train for Rio, but I need to take kind of a mental break." May-Treanor said of the dominance by female athletes at the London Games, “It just says a lot about the state of sports and the young women out there have such wonderful role models now to look up to" (“GMA,” ABC, 8/14).
KEEP HOPE ALIVE: U.S. women's soccer G HOPE SOLO promoted her new book, “Solo: A Memoir of Hope,” during an appearance on "Today." Asked if she was still excited about winning the Gold Medal, Solo said, “I don’t know what time zone I’m in right now.” NBC’s Savannah Guthrie said the book “is really personal” and is “painful.” Solo: “The process of writing the book wasn’t easy. It felt like I was going to counseling sessions every day when I sat down with my author. But I’m happy, I’m proud of it. It is my life and I don’t shy away from my life.” Solo said she has this Gold Medal “so I do believe in happiness,” but not “everything is going to be perfect" (“Today,” NBC, 8/14).
DIVING HEAD FIRST: Diver DAVID BOUDIA appeared on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” this morning and talked about how former Gold Medal-winner GREG LOUGANIS gave the U.S. divers “his wisdom (and) his experiences." He said there is "no better mentor to have than that.” When asked if he would compete at Rio, Boudia said, “I’m predicting that I might make a comeback. I’m going to take four months off. I’ve never done that in my career … and re-evaluate and maybe see Rio in the future” (“Fox & Friends,” Fox News, 8/14).
UPCOMING APPEARANCES: The gymnastics team will complement its "GMA" visit with an appearance on "Late Show" tonight and Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" tomorrow night (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/14). Swimmer Ryan Lochte is scheduled to be on "The Tonight Show" Thursday (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 8/14).