In a new interview with People, Today Show anchors Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie opened up about their Beijing Olympics FOMO. Although the two usually travel to the games, the spread of omicron — which has affected the Chinese government’s strict COVID-19 protocols — has forced them to cover the Winter Games from home.
“The pandemic obviously has changed plans in a multitude of ways. This is just another example,” Guthrie said. She was originally tapped to host NBC‘s Opening Ceremony coverage in Beijing, but ultimately, the Today team opted to send just one staff member: Today co-host Craig Melvin.
Koth and Guthrie also dealt with positive COVID-19 cases at the beginning of 2022, which prevented them from traveling (since their PCR tests likely would’ve come back positive).
“That’s the reason I can’t be there, because I just had COVID way too close in time,” Guthrie added. “And there’s a not-insignificant risk that you pop a positive test while there, and if you do, that triggers all kinds of protocols that are understandable, so it just didn’t make sense for us.
In the meantime, the team will primarily cover the Winter Games from NBC’s Stamford, Connecticut facility, as well as their Rockefeller Center studio in Manhattan (where a faux “Olympic Plaza” has been constructed).
However, Kotb admitted that the experience wasn’t the same as covering the Olympics live with her Today team.
“Normally, this is two weeks where we get to bond and have a great time as a team,” she said. “So that part I’m missing, because I love that part. That’s the bummer part of it.”
The Today Show airs daily at 7 a.m. ET on NBC. The series is available to stream live and on demand on NBC.com and the NBC app.