Savannah Guthrie Recalls Gus Kenworthy Rescuing Her from the Bunny Slope: 'I Was Terrified'

After having to carry her on his back while skiing down the bunny slope, "I believe he still has back spasms to this day," the Today co-anchor jokes

Hoda Kotb, Gus Kenworthy and Savannah Guthrie
Hoda Kotb, Gus Kenworthy and Savannah Guthrie at the Winter Olympics in 2018. Photo: Courtesy of NBC News

The Today show anchors have had a front-row seat to every Olympic Games — but that doesn't mean they have any athletic instincts themselves.

"Every four years they try to trot us out on the ice," says co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, who hosted NBC's Opening Ceremony coverage this year from the U.S. "It's a comedy routine. We can't. Wobbly. Ankles hurt. Cold."

"We look ridiculous. We're like Bambi, we can't even stand up," adds her co-anchor Hoda Kotb. "I can't do it anymore. I like my knees."

Things took a particularly disastrous turn for Guthrie, 50, during the Winter Olympics in 2018.

"So the [producers] were like, 'You're going to learn to ski in PyeongChang.' I never skied, because I grew up in the desert. We didn't go on skiing vacations," says Guthrie, who was raised in Arizona. "That's part of the reason the Winter Olympics are my favorite. Because we didn't have snow [growing up], or ice hockey, or skating, and so it's kind of magical to me."

When it came time for the segment, "first of all, putting on the skiing boots and the whole outfit was harder than anything," she says with a laugh. "Then I fell six times before I even got to the ski lift."

Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Gus Kenworthy
Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Gus Kenworthy at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Courtesy of NBC News

it was only downhill from there. "I was on the bunny slope, but I was so terrified, I couldn't get down," she says.

Luckily she had an A-list rescue crew on hand to help.

"[Olympic skier] Gus Kenworthy, who had just won the gold medal, literally had to put me on his back and ski down the bunny slope with me on his back," she adds. "And I believe he still has back spasms to this day."

RELATED VIDEO: Olympic Medalist Gracie Gold Recaps Yesterday's Short Program Figure Skating at the Winter Olympics

The Today show crew will largely be anchoring the coverage from the U.S. this year, with only Craig Melvin on-site in China.

"The pandemic obviously has changed plans in a multitude of ways. This is just another example. But like everything, we've just adjusted," says Guthrie, who, alongside Kotb, tested positive for COVID in early January amid the omicron surge, making flying in for the Games a non-starter due to the risk of a positive PCR test.

Despite some disappointment at not being able to host from Beijing, "the vibe is the vibe," adds Kotb. "It doesn't matter where you are. And since families can't go to see their kids and their loved ones participate, we hope to see some of them here with us. We are going to have the juice that we had there, we'll have it here. And I think the athletes' families will feel it and the athletes will feel it all the way in Beijing."

To learn more about Team USA, visit Watch the Winter Olympics, now, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.

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