Home News Red, White & Trendin...

Red, White & Trending: Aug. 21-27

By Jamie MacDonald | Aug. 28, 2015, 12:15 p.m. (ET)

What are Team USA athletes — Olympians, Paralympians, hopefuls and more — up to when they're not competing? They're training. They're practicing. They're traveling to competitions and meets and games and tournaments. They're relaxing. They're getting engaged and married. They're taking hard-earned vacations. They're coping with the raw emotions that come from losing and winning. And they're sharing. Through the reach of social media, we're able to follow along on their often extraordinary journeys. We'll catch you up each week on what's "Red, White & Trending."

Rivals And Friends

On ski racing courses around the world, they were rivals. But Team USA alpine skiing star Lindsey Vonn and the now-retired Maria Höfl-Riesch are longtime friends, too. And when Vonn hit the road for a working vacation, one that was preceded by an ankle injury she spent time tropically rehabbing ("Friends don't let friends miss ab day!" is one of the great spontaneous training lines), the trip included the German three-time gold medalist.

Höfl-Riesch, as friends do, also offered some inspiring words as Vonn looks to come back strong from another injury.

400-Meter Fun

Until Aug. 30, Beijing is the center of the track and field world, courtesy the IAAF World Championships. On Thursday, Olympic champion Allyson Felix earned a ninth world title — this one by setting the pace early and winning the 400-meter by a wide margin in 49.26. In the process, Felix set the U.S. record and her own personal best.

Before the brightest lights were shining in the final, here's a great look at the pretty imposing attitude she carried into the Bird's Next during prelims:

Prelim in the books. On to the semi-final tomorrow night! #Beijing2015 ๐Ÿ“ท: @jeffcohenphoto

A photo posted by Allyson Felix (@af85) on

Felix's win will certainly add to the chatter about the possibility of winning gold in both the 200- and 400-meter in Rio, which has been accomplished by only two other women in Olympic history — one of them being American Valerie Brisco-Hooks in 1984.

Felix's feats may inspire many, and the news had already captured the attention of an athlete whose own story is an inspiration: Olympic gold medalist Cathy Freeman of Australia:

More Golden Moments

In the triple jump, the summer of 2015 continued to belong to Christian Taylor. Back on Aug. 10, he tweeted that it would be his "Last day on social media" while he looked forward to "getting to Japan and getting my head right for the greatest World Champs of my life." On Thursday in Beijing, Taylor had reason to return triumphantly to social media after setting an American record, jumping 18.21m, and putting a little scare into the owner of the current triple jump world record, Jonathan Edwards of Great Britain.

Earlier in the week, Joe Kovacs won gold in the shot put with a best of 21.93 meters to account for Team USA's four gold medals in Beijing. Afterward, Kovacs, who has his sights set on his first Olympics, sent a special message to his coach.

Dance, Dance, Dance

"When we are not bound by fear, we can all transcend our circumstances and excel, no matter what the odds are." These are the words Dr. Oz had after he'd danced this dance with Paralympic bronze medalist (and "Dancing with the Stars" runner-up) Amy Purdy.

Dog Days

One of social media's contributions to our lives has become a resurgence of days devoted to a certain cause. Some stretch the bounds of acceptance as a worthy cause, but #nationaldogday certainly filled up timelines: Olympic gymnasts Alicia Sacramone Quinn and Carly Patterson Caldwell, Olympic figure skater Felicia Zhang, and Paralympian Jennifer Schuble come to mind. But two stick out for entertainment factor: Noted dog lover and Olympic ice hockey player David Backes, Olympic gymnast Jake Dalton and Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders.

Dalton, to clarify, later tweeted that all was well with his pup, saying, "Thankfully she is fine and didn't eat too much ink."

Desert Landing

It's official, Michael Phelps has made his way to Arizona, where the most decorated athlete in Olympic history will live and train during what he hopes will be his own road to Rio.

New place new beginning !! Love being in Arizona!!!

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

Christmas In August

Precious. Adorable. Those were the immediate reactions from watching this heartwarming video of a young fan opening her Anne Schleper jersey. In Sochi, Schleper won an Olympic silver medal … and the affections of this very excitable young lady.

Yes, Winter Is Coming

Tick-tock. The countdown is on to a new season for Paralympic cross-country skiers and biathletes. One star in particular, Oksana Masters, who also won a summer Paralympic medal in London in rowing, has winter — and a clever hashtag — on her mind.

Winter Is Here

For Team USA athletes who make their living on the snow, there's always the southern hemisphere. Olympic gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg, winner of the first-ever Olympic gold medal in men's slopestyle snowboarding, is shredding Down Under.

Three-time Olympic halfpipe snowboarding medalist Kelly Clark is trudging up mountainsides in New Zealand.

Hike it out. #NZ #Ridingisthereason @burtonsnowboards Photo: @annagassersnow

A photo posted by kelly clark (@thekellyclark) on

Also in Australia, slopestyle snowboarder Chas Guldemond is catching a whole lot of air.

Little glimpse of the slopestyle course here in Australia courtesy of ๐ŸŽฅ @themayhemprojects ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ

A video posted by Chas Guldemond (@chasguldemond) on

Two-time Olympic snowboarding medalist Hannah Teter, on the other hand, is still chasing the sun:

A Lot Of Fight Left

Music has a way of infusing emotion very quickly into athletic settings, and one of the more successful songs of the summer comes freighted with the kind of arresting lyrics that can amplify even a skating session. Two-time Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir put this spin on a summer of 2015 anthem, Rachel Platten's "Fight Song."

Fight Song.

A video posted by JOHNNY WEIR (@johnnygweir) on

Certainly, the artist responsible for the song approves.

Unique Angle

Cyrus Hostetler: Olympian. Javelin star. Graphic designer. And … he's not so bad with compelling media content, either. The 2012 Olympian, while working out at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, strapped a camera on his javelin to see what he might get out of it. The result is mesmerizing.

Together Again

It wasn't all that long ago that tennis legend Pete Sampras published a piece that included his thoughts on just how important a role Olympic gold medalist Andre Agassi played in his tennis life. Earlier this week, the odd couple shared a cab. Sort of.

Related Athletes

head shot

Lindsey Vonn

head shot

Michael Phelps

head shot

Anne Schleper

head shot

Johnny Weir

head shot

Cyrus Hostetler