this is "nightline." >> tonight superstar celine dion living her lyrics, speaking up for the first time about love yrvegs loss and the road ahead without her beloved husband and manager. tonight the conversation, the touching final moments. >> road to rio. up close and personal with the olympic men's gymnastics team. going for the gold and going viral. we'll take a tumble with the usa. and what blake lively said quoting a 90s hit baby got back. was she racially insensitive? first, the "nightline" 5. >> covering is caring.
conversation. >> last time i took that step with you, we were three. >> i know. >> how are you? >> very well. how are you? >> good. i'm good. >> reporter: it was last spring when celine dion and i stepped on this stage along with her beloved rene. then she was focussed on her husband who was in the retched throws of his cancer battle. >> he has a feeding tube. i have to feed him two times a day. >> reporter: you did so much of this yourself. >> i do this myself. >> reporter: together they were preparing for the end. which came just four months ago, two days shy of rene's 74th birthday. >> when i saw you last time you were bracing yourself. you were beginning to talk about the end. did it still come as a shock? even when you're expecting it, you kind of -- >> i think i was more in shock when i did talk to you the last time. because i saw him suffer. and that is the worst.
today, for me, it's like i don't live with him physically, but i live with him inside of me. >> reporter: her husband of 21 years slipped away quietly in the early morning hours of january 14th. >> i went there, and i stayed by his side. and then i started to talk to him. i started to talk to him and i said, you know what? i want you to just go in peace. i want you to not worry. you were worrying for my career. you were worrying for the children. you were worrying for everything. i promise you, we're going to be okay. >> reporter: it was the moment they both knew was coming. >> he wanted to die in my arms. >> reporter: did he? >> i cannot live with a regret, but this is something that i do have a tendency to think that i
have a regret and i should not. he did not die in my arms. but i think he died in my heart. if i hold onto this, i won't move on. there's a reason for things. i have to give myself a reason to go on. >> reporter: go on without the love of her life. ♪ ♪ you were my strength when i was weak ♪ >> reporter: he was by her side as manager, then husband. the inspiration behind those unforgettable classics. ♪ because i'm your lady ♪ and you are my man >> reporter: songs now taking on a whole new meaning. ♪ all by myself
>> reporter: thousands attended the funeral in mont recall, a public affair planned by rene himself. >> you left me now with enough good memories of you to share with my younger brothers. >> reporter: the couple's son, 15-year-old, offering a good-bye. >> as they grow older without you being around, i'll make sure to pass on what i've learned from you. >> reporter: his mother's grieving only beginning. you've had a lot of loss. not only your husband but your brother two days later. >> yes. >> reporter: do you ever find yourself saying how much can i take? >> my brother who passed away of pretty much the same cancer as him died on rene's birthday, and i said to myself, for his birthday my husband came and got my brother. because my brother was too weak to fly on his own.
>> reporter: one last parting gift. >> for rene's birthday, he said i'm going to come and get your brother and take good care of him. >> reporter: what do you miss most at this moment? what's the hardest part going forward without rene? >> what's hard, i have to say, that when i have to take decisions now. >> reporter: do you ever say what would rene do? >> i think we all do. do you think rene would think this song is appropriate? but after a while am i going to have signs all the time? or do i have to make decisions as a woman, as a mother, as an artist? >> reporter: are you ready for that? >> do i have a choice? you're never ready for something like this to happen. even though you expect it, when it hits you, you're not prepared. it's hard.
>> reporter: her first difficult decision, how to break the news to her three boys. including five-year-old twins, nelson and eddie. >> i said, do you remember the movie "up"? they said yes, she went up with the balloons. i said, well, yeah. i said, you know, today papa went up. >> so long boys. i'll send you a postcard from paradise falls. >> the only thing i want you to remember is "up". up is a good thing. don't worry. the house is not going to go with balloons in the sky. we still live in it, but papa went with balloons. papa went up. >> reporter: only weeks later, the shattered singer back on stage honoring a dying wish. >> reporter: did you ever consider not coming back to the stage? was that a possibility for you, maybe taking time? >> i never did. he wanted me to come back. even while he was sick, he said
i don't mind if you want to do your living will with me. but i want you to come back. i was his favorite singer. he believed in me so much. >> reporter: and so did her fans. on the night of her return, a heart breaking moment as she sang all by myself. ♪ the words more poignant than ever. ♪ >> it's not to come back on stage that was difficult. it's when the curtain was opened and i could feel the energy, the sadness, and it's what i felt from them that made me tear, but it's what helped me too. i had to grieve. i had to do it. ♪ >> reporter: today that same theater host to record breaking shows -- ♪
-- now a treasure-trove of memories. i know you used to do a signal. >> i still do it every night. >> reporter: at the center of the room, rene's old seat. >> he would be over here watching the whole show. >> reporter: is there any one song now that when you sing it, it's all about you and rene? >> when i sing the show must go on, because when he was sick, he always said, the show must go on. he gave me a lot of strength. he did. he did, and you know what? i'm at peace. >> reporter: somehow a peace that allows celine dion to go on. >> i'm happy he's not suffering anymore. it's a long road, but like i said, there's a lot ahead of me, but if i think too far ahead of me, i might be scared. i might ask myself too much questions. i just want to be here now.
♪ ♪ the show must go on >> reporter: for "nightline" in nevada. >> thank you. >> celine dion will perform this sunday on abc at the billboard awards. up next, we'll meet the american men going for gold and glory. and this picture igniting a problem. ive colitis, the possibility of a flare was almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go... and how to deal with my uc. to me, that was normal. until i talked to my doctor.
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now to the twist and turns on the road to gold. a rare visit with the men to hope the represent america. it's team usa. >> reporter: look at that work on the pummel horse. okay, maybe not so impressive. the bucket is basically like a gymnast version of a kid by pool. i graduate to siscor kicks. these men training me aren't your typical heart throbs. they're america's elite acrobats. the u.s. men's gymnastics teams. they're the guys hoping to win gold at the olympics spending 30 plus hours a week in the gym,
thousands of tumbles, spins, jumps, and, falls. >> does it hurt to land on your arms like that all the time? >> well, when i first started doing crazy flips on bars, it definitely hurt a lot. >> cj has this wrist thing. >> my wrists take a lot of brunt from my grips. they side up. i put on skin lube and let it rub. i have a split. >> reporter: they posted this photo to instagram and they nearly broke it. muscles, beach, and a perfect backdrop combined for a flawless tan, the world of viral photos. >> this is a great picture. the background. let's post it, and then people, like, freaked out about it. >> reporter: pick the up not just on social media but on media juggernauts, including the latest issue of "people". this isn't the first time they
made household names out of olympians. remember this look. and johnny quinn had to burst through a bathroom door. he taught me how to do it in case it ever happens to me. >> a bunch of athletes fighting for five spots. the youngest, 19d. the oldest is 29. all of them crave olympic glory. >> we don't go into this competition expecting anything but greatness. we're training to be the best in the world. >> reporter: you're the only guy in this gym right now who has won an olympic medal. how much pressure is on you. >> none. it's a clean slate. >> reporter: the crazy thing is most can't and don't make a living off the sport. three of them are still in college. >> mechanical engineering. >> reporter: and you have a midterm today? >> yes. >> reporter: how do you juggle the studying and training?
>> it's time management. >> reporter: how do you decide the team? what are the parameters? >> that's really difficult. it's a puzzle piece, a little bit. we're looking for the five guys that fit best together on the events to maximize the team score. >> reporter: unlike the female counterpart, the men's team has only once taken home the all around gold medal. >> i think we have an incredible chance. we have depth here. when you look at the young guys, they're pushing us to be better as well. >> team usa is going to war against whoever it is. by us working together as a unit, it makes us better. >> reporter: many of them have been battling the rings, hanging on the bars for over 20 years. others, like john would tell you, they catapulted into it by chance, but the kids in the neighborhood, not as supportive. >> kids are not very nice at
all. in the bronx gymnastics is not a well known sport to begin with. everyone thinks it's feminine. it's not like what society says the norm is for men. and so i struggled a little bit through middle school and high school. >> reporter: these days it's mostly injury they struggle with. >> i blew out my right forearm. five surgeries on that. i've had ten surgeries total. >> gymnastics is very hard. >> if you don't like it, man, you're crazy. >> over phenomenon you like it you're crazy. >> reporter: when mcdreamies are down, they do abs. >> upeaten bonbons? >> when you're injured, there are so many things you can work on when you're going gymnastics. there's no real reason why you shouldn't come into the gym and do something. >> unless you hurt your shoulders and achilles.
you can do core. >> reporter: it's a team that keeps fighting. it seemed a perfect fit for one of them to be in a music video before the games. the star, the video viewed over 44 million times, has become the anthem for team usa. ♪ >> you look at all the components, talent wise, hard work and organization. put the things together, and we have the best in each of those areas. the last part of it this i think we have more of than any other team is heart. we fight to the end no matter what happens. >> reporter: some of us have heart and nothing else. what the princes of the pummel horse can do effortlessly leaves me winded. >> take your left leg up and pick that -- that's it. that's all i want to see you do. grab the arm and jump autofront. >> reporter: let's try that again.
♪ >> i believe. yes. there you go. >> reporter: for nig"nightline, i'm matt gutman, colorado springs, colorado. up next, the social media uproar over what the former gossip girl said. baby got backlash. i'm billy, and i quit smoking with chantix. i decided to take chantix to shut everybody else up about me quitting smoking. i was going to give it a try, but i didn't really think it was going to really happen. after one week of chantix, i knew i could quit. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix definitely helped reduce my urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. some had seizures while taking chantix. if you have any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental health problems, which could get worse or of seizures. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic
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mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. siring up an instant storm. ♪ i like big butts and i cannot lie ♪ >> reporter: major backlash for blake lively. she posted a picture. a line from the 90s tune baby's got back. lively's post offended a number of followers who are striking back. one user saying another day, another rich white woman using women of color's bodys as a punch line and a commodity.
>> others are coming to her defense. one user tweeting people really need to get over blake lively quoting song lyrics. sir mix-a-lot. >> it was not accepted as the norm anywhere. >> reporter: khloe kardashian posted a picture with the same lyric. blake lively might be attracting the most attention. we reached out to blake lively but did not hear back. >> our story about celine dion story reminds us love always hopes and perseveres. love never fails. thank you for watching abc news. tune into good morning america