"I really have a lot of anxiety and that’s when you’re not present," Raisman told Kotb. "I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself and self-reflection. I think it’s a normal thing. Some day you wake up in the morning and kind of feel 'blah,' and you don’t feel that great, but there’s other days where you feel really good."
As a young girl, Raisman experienced bullying—and even had to work with gymnastics coaches who didn't believe she would become the accomplished gymnast she is today. "But I think as long as you have one person that believes in you, I think there’s a lot of magic in that," Raisman said.
The retired Olympian said she feels "very lucky" to have had the support of her parents and a handful of coaches who believed in her ability to meet her goals.
"When I was 10 years old, I told my coaches that I’m going to go to the Olympics and I’m going to win floor ... and instead of laughing at me, they said OK we have a lot of work to do, so let’s get going," she recalled. "People thought I was crazy or thought my parents were crazy, wondering why [I was] training this much, but my coaches were just like, if you want to do that, then let’s go."
Raisman certainly achieved her goal. The gymnast is a six-time Olympic medalist, earning three golds, two silvers, and one bronze in the London 2020 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Unfortunately, while Raisman was competing on the U.S. National team, she suffered abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar, the former U.S. Women's National Team doctor who was sentenced to life in prison for sexual assault of minors and child pornography. Raisman opened up about her abuse and testified against Nassar with a powerful statement in 2018.
"Some people cease believing in magic because they go through trauma. Something bad happens and the lights go out in their eyes, you can almost see it," Kotb said. "You’ve publicly been through trauma. How do you keep believing in magic and possibility when you know those things can happen?"
"Every day I feel differently. I've done so much therapy. I continue to do a lot of therapy, working on myself and finding things that make me feel good," Raisman replied.
"I’m trying to make it a goal where every morning I wake up before the sun rises, and every night I’m going to be present to watch the sunset, because it’s such a beautiful thing to experience," she said. "I've kind of learned through everything, and I've been so lucky in life to be on the Today show and experience so many things, but the most magical moments are the most simple ones in nature when you’re really just being present."
Although Raisman admits that sometimes it's hard to find things that make her "feel the magic," she said. "It's a constant reminder and it’s a journey of working on yourself."
But she always circles back to her life motto: "Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it."
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