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Red, White & Trending: Dec. 18-24

By Jamie MacDonald | Dec. 25, 2015, 12:01 a.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."

'Tis The Season

As the 25th neared, holiday cheer began to ring throughout Team USA's timelines. And, depending on your point of view, a certain elf's arrival is either an early joyous sign of the season or something a bit more tedious. USA Diving has embraced the phenomenon.

Last day of #usadwinternatls! Looking forward to seeing how the results play out. Good luck divers!

A photo posted by USA Diving (@usa_diving) on

Gold medalist figure skater Tara Lipinski and her boyfriend (well, more on that status later), were among the many to make sartorial statements in time for the holiday.

Yup it's onesie season!πŸŽ„ I'm as Christmas basic as they come...and obviously @toddkap is too.

A photo posted by Tara Lipinski (@taralipinski) on

Olympic hurdler and bobsleder Lolo Jones shared this holiday-themed outfit.

"I'm from the south side of the North Pole man" #loloshohoho #merrychristmas πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸΎ

A photo posted by Lolo Jones (@lolojones) on

Olympic fencer Race Imboden, who can be found working out in bare-bones gyms while on vacation, took a more minimalist approach (courtesy the official Instagram account of the Italian Fencing Federation).

A new look for Santa? Olympian @race_imboden in the holiday spirit! #TeamUSA

Posted by U.S. Fencing Association on Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Six-time Olympic medalist swimmer Allison Schmitt, who is now back in Michigan for the holiday, before taking off for "The Mitten," stopped to post a line, both clever and inspirational — and perfect for the training Team USA athlete.

Merry Fitness and a happy new rear πŸ™ŠπŸ’₯πŸŽ„πŸŽ‰πŸ’ͺ🏼 #goingbacktothemitten

A photo posted by Allison Schmitt ❀️ (@arschmitty) on

Holiday greetings also came in from around the world. Eleven-time Paralympic medalist and wheelchair marathon queen Tatyana McFadden offered a postcard-worthy view from the Taj Mahal, as did sister and fellow Paralympian Hannah McFadden from a different angle, but Tatyana did not stop there. She tracked down a Christmas tree.

Merry Christmas from India πŸŽ„πŸ’›πŸŽ‰πŸŽ†β€οΈ

A photo posted by TatyanaMcfadden (@tatyanamcfaddenusa) on

Olympic medalist swimmer and breaststroke specialist Jessica Hardy hit the road for a visit with the in-laws. In Switzerland.

Newlywed and women's national soccer team-er Sydney Leroux posted what certainly could double as their holiday card, including a few canine cameos.

Merry Christmas Eve from the Dwyer's! #bosshatesus

A photo posted by Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) on

Snowboarding legend and Olympic champ Shaun White may be growing up, though this time of year may bring out some mischievousness.

Christmas also means happy birthday for the mother of Paralympic star Amy Purdy.

World champion wrestler Adeline Gray, now wrestling abroad, also checked in from the Taj Mahal earlier in the week, and she sent her holiday greetings from Bangalore.

Olympic silver medalist ice dancer Tanith Belbin White found the spirit to be more than welcoming in Japan.

The annual IIHF World Junior Championship is underway as of Dec. 26 in Helsinki, Finland, where Team USA opens against Canada at 1 p.m. ET, followed by games on Dec. 28, Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 before the knockout rounds begin. They would like to return with some hardware, of course, but they haven't traveled light out there, either.

And if you haven't yet seen it, TeamUSA.org's rendition of 'Twas The Night Before Rio …

Where Getting Fat Is Encouraged

Bigwood Fat Bike Park in Sun Valley, Idaho, opened only a few weeks ago, but Olympic road cyclist Evelyn Stevens and her husband, thanks to endurance cycling star Rebecca Rusch, have visited — and come back with rave reviews.

Star (Wars) Sighting

We hadn't seen previous Olympic judoka and current UFC star Ronda Rousey smiling in one of her Instagram posts for nearly two months, but attending the Marine Corps Ball put a smile on her face after famously losing a bout last month. Presumably, she was also smiling when she went out incognito to take in the most recent Star Wars installment.

About last night.... Star Wars was awesome .... I'm a little short for a stormtrooper....

A photo posted by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on

Grueling PT Continues

A day after posting a video while walking with braces on a suspended treadmill, six-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Amy Van Dyken, who was injured in an ATV accident, offered an even more encouraging glimpse into her grueling regimen.

I'm working hard to make my dreams a reality. See more at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rourQwRQBiw.

A video posted by Amy Van Dyken (@amyvandyken) on

'I Guess I Got My Swagger Back'

One of the very best point guards in the world, Kyrie Irving, who played an injury-curtailed season for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke before moving on to the NBA, is very likely in the conversation for the Rio Games, where Coach K will lead Team USA. Irving, injured in the first game of the NBA Finals at the end of the 2014-15 season, also missed the start of the 2015-16 season with a fractured left kneecap. But, considering he's the best point guard on a team that, thanks in large part to three-time Olympic medalist LeBron James, has enough talent to win an NBA title, his return has been eagerly awaited. Perhaps too eagerly, in fact.

To the delight of Cleveland Cavs fans everywhere, and to the tune of 65,000 likes, he made good on his promise a few days later.

Irving also shared his story by way of a recently released video that made his own frustrations and fears clear. "There's a way of thinking you're in shape and there's a way of actually being in shape," he says optimistically of the difference between being able to merely run up and down the court for five minutes or being able to truly affect the game at both ends of the floor for five minutes. Stay tuned through the end for the money quote: "I guess I got my swagger back."

Irving's first game back: Christmas Day.

Bump, Set, Spike

We know that 2012 Olympic beach volleyball silver medalist April Ross isn't shy when it comes to clowning around with her mother-to-be sister, as evidenced by a Batman-inspired baby shower getup, and she was back at it this past week, ahem, exercising with her future nephew.

Can't wait to teach my nephew how to bump, set, spike πŸ˜œπŸ™ˆ

A photo posted by April Ross (@aprilrossbeach) on

Flexible Schedule

Two-time Olympic gymnastics champion and three-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman's workout regimen:

Mr. Lipinski?

Leave it to an Emmy award-winning producer to come up with a most creative proposal. Congratulations are now in order for Lipinski and Todd Kapostasy, with Kapostasy proposing earlier this week in New York City.

Kapostasy's supreme marks for creativity were earned thusly:

News of their engagement made the rounds, including to the "TODAY" show, where host Willie Geist had a little trouble with "KAH-pah-STAH-see," leading the couple to wonder whether "Lipinski" might just be the way to go.

Meanwhile, In Oslo

Lipinski's frequent on-air partner in figure skating coverage, Johnny Weir, has been a man on the move this past week: Germany, Romania, Norway and Russia. Before seeing an NYPD cruiser in Moscow, he made a scream of an impression in Oslo.

When in Oslo...#skrik

A photo posted by JOHNNY WEIR (@johnnygweir) on

Wells Will Be Ringing

Congratulations are in order for 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Kellie Wells and her husband, New York Giants linebacker Jasper Brinkley.

Patiently waiting on baby Jasper.πŸ™πŸΎπŸ‘£ @kelliewellz @nygiants

A photo posted by Jasper Brinkley (@jasperhitman54) on

At 4:17 am our world completely changed! My prince came into the world with his eyes wide open and tried to play tough like his daddy and not cry! We made eye contact and I was and am completely in love! He weighs 7lbs 7 ounces and is 20 (just about 21) inches long! Labor was the hardest thing I've ever done IN LIFE and I would do it all again for baby Jasper. My hubbs @jasperhitman54 was by my side thru it all and was so sweet and motivated me when I needed to push! We found out that baby jap had the umbilical cord wrapped around his leg, in his hand, and around his neck! My docs were amazing and gave me the opportunity to push instead of a C-section! We are all healthy and happy!!!! Thanks for the love and support!!!!!!! I'm a MOMMY! Thanks to the @nygiants for being so amazing thru it all!

A photo posted by kellie wells (@kelliewellz) on

Get Well Soon

Here's to a speedy recovery for Olympic gold medalist soccer standout Megan Rapinoe.

Related Athletes

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Evelyn Stevens

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Aly Raisman

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Kellie Wells

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Megan Rapinoe