Reigning Olympic all-around champion gymnast Gabby Douglas has been part of the Super Bowl XLVIII festivities in New York, recently picking up a microphone as a correspondent for Inside Edition during Media Day at Metlife Stadium.
Douglas, who recently told USA Gymnastics that she plans to return to competition this year, got to chat with a number of football luminaries that included Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino and Denver Broncos gunslinger Peyton Manning, just days away from competing for his second Super Bowl ring.
When asked by Douglas about his feelings going into Sunday’s Big Game, Manning noted the Broncos’ excitement.
“I think the best thing, Gabby – it’s similar to you [at the Olympics] – is that you are part of a team being over here and obviously, you have your individual position and individual job that you have to do, just like you do at the Olympics,” he said to Douglas.
“But you still are part of the group and it’s nice to know that you have people that are going to help you out and support you. I’ve had a lot of people that have helped me and supported me during my time here in Denver and I’m very grateful for that. Our entire group is happy to be here and we’re looking forward to Sunday.”
In addition to her Super Bowl duties for Inside Edition, Douglas will be the subject of tomorrow night’s world premiere biopic, “The Gabby Douglas Story,” on Lifetime.
Simone Biles is one of 11 finalists for Time‘s Person of the Year.
Time‘s Person of the Year, named annually since 1927, has never been an individual athlete or team. Tennis player Billie Jean King was part of the “American Women” group named in 1975.
In 2015, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion Caitlyn Jenner was one of eight finalists.
The Person of the Year “is the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year.”
Biles, 19, is the only teenager finalist and is six years younger than the youngest-ever solo Person of the Year, Charles Lindbergh in 1927. Biles won four gold medals and one bronze in Rio, the largest collection for a female gymnast at one Olympics since 1988.
The Person of the Year will be announced on Wednesday morning on “Today.”
Here are the finalists, in alphabetical order:
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
The Flint Whistleblowers
VIDEO: Biles shows Stephen Colbert how to stick the landing
Tonga’s famous flag bearer, Pita Taufatofua, said he wants to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics as a cross-country skier.
“I’m going to be taking my Olympic dream one step further,” Taufatofua said in an Olympic Channel video published Monday. “My goal is to let people see, if I can do it, they can do it. The goal is to hunt down that Olympic medal at the 2018 Olympics.”
Sure enough, Taufatofua already has an International Ski Federation bio page. The federation lists one other Tongan cross-country skier with a bio, Makeleta Stephan, who was last of 93 finishers in a 2015 World Championships event.
In 2014, Bruno Banani became the first Tongan to compete at a Winter Olympics, placing 32nd in men’s luge. He was later the subject of a documentary. Banani gained fame starting in early 2012, when the story of his name was widely publicized. Banani’s real name is Fuahea Semi, but he changed it to the name of his German clothing sponsor as a marketing ploy.
Taufatofua lost his opening Olympic taekwondo match by mercy rule in Rio, two weeks after his his shirtless, oiled-up appearance in the Opening Ceremony.
Judging by the Olympic Channel video, Taufatofua’s chances of qualifying for the Olympics look better for Tokyo 2020 than Pyeongchang 2018.
PHOTOS: Tongan flag bearer steals show at Opening Ceremony