Today show anchor Hoda Kotb will soon travel nearly 7,000 miles from New York to South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. And she’s feeling just a little bit sad about it, a source tells Us Weekly. The reason: Kotb’s 11-month-old daughter, Haley Joy, won’t be making the trip with her. Instead, the baby will stay back with Kotb’s mother and her longtime boyfriend, Joel Schiffman.
“Hoda is so excited to cover the Olympics, but it’s with a very heavy heart,” the source tells Us. In addition to the 14-hour flight, the 14-hour time difference and the frigid temperatures, “She decided it would be best for Haley Joy to remain in New York City because she will be so busy working.”
But the 53-year-old mom is taking solace in modern technology. “Luckily, Hoda can video chat with Haley and Joel,” says the source. “And she’ll be on the first flight back before the closing ceremony to be reunited with her little family!”
Meanwhile, Kotb expressed her excitement about the Winter Games during a January appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “The thing about the Olympics is there’s no other place one earth where you can sit there and watch a kid you’ve never heard of before and in that instant, you get get to watch their life change,” she said.
Kotb called in to Today in February 2017 to announce she had adopted a little girl. “She’s a Valentine’s baby. She is the love of my life,” she gushed. “I didn’t know my heart could feel like this. This is a moment in my life that I never thought would happen, and here it is, happening to me.”
With reporting by Jennifer Heger