If we've learned anything with increased coverage, we've learned that Team USA's athletes and teams aren't leading dull lives. Whether it's training or goofing around, eating right or oh-so-wrong (for a treat, of course), supporting friends or celebrating victory, they've allowed us a window to their sporting souls. Each week we'll catch you up on some of the lighter moments or lighter takes on the news that make Team USA so compelling.
Happy Mother's Day
It should come as little surprise that moms took center stage in social media this past weekend — particularly among Team USA athletes. Olympians are generally a thankful lot, and moms rank near the very top of their minds when it comes to gratitude. It's those moms who have often encouraged, stood by, cheered, picked up, dusted off and shaped the lives of the most accomplished athletes. And, for that, a few lighthearted notes of thanks:
Of course, Mother's Day can mean just as much to dads, as eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno points out in a poignant post:
Happy Mother's Day to this guy :-) He always was mom and dad to me while growing up. Put up with my crazy antics as a kid, and even today-still unconditionally loves and supports me. I've been so blessed in this life for a Dad whom I can remember bringing home "Happy Mother's Day" cards to because the other kids in school asked me where my mom was. I proudly always said, it's just my Dad and Meeee! so just like when I was 6 years old, Happy Mothers Day Dad! Haha #MothersDay #HappyMothersDay2AllTheAmazingMoms #Dad #SingleParentHousehold #Blessed #May #Ohno #Yuki
And while Mother's Day was a work day for the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (Team USA won, 3-0, over Ireland), it was also one of celebrating the holiday:
When the video you post is tweeted out by the likes of NBC Olympics, Universal Sports, BBC News and People magazine, and representatives from CSN, ESPN, ABC News and Fox News ask permission to air the video, you know you've gone viral. Such was the case for 2008 Olympic gold medalist (and 2004 Olympic silver medalist) decathlete Bryan Clay.
Clay, you see, put a twist on the idea of stringing a loose tooth to a doorknob. In this case, Clay tied one end of string to his daughter Ellie's loose tooth and the other to … a javelin.
What you use javelins for once you're retired. pic.twitter.com/gVwqK75bVa— Bryan Clay (@bryanclay) May 6, 2015
In response to two-time Olympic distance runner Nick Symmonds, who offered among the comments, "HA! Awesome video," Clay responded, "Thanks, but it was all her idea ;)." Turns out, the Clay family has a thing for finding ways to yank teeth. During one of his interviews in the wake of renewed fame, Clay explained that his other children have come up with ideas involving bikes and styrofoam gliders.
And, yes, Clay says, the tooth made its way under Ellie's pillow.
Go Fourth And Prosper
It sneaks up on many this time of year: May 4. As in, May, the fourth, which very easily becomes a Star Wars homage writ large for fans of the movie on social media. As has become tradition, timelines were sprinkled with references, including from Olympic swimmer Nick Thoman's tweet and figure skater Jeremy Abbott's stormtrooper-tastic Instagram post. Olympic hopeful Sarah Beard, whose father was a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Shooting Team, went the "Do or do not" route.
But it was Olympic fencer Tim Morehouse who's going to be hard to beat in the "Best 'May The Fourth Be With You' Post" category for years to come:
The first heat wave of the season teaches hard lessons. Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman has learned.
Regret not applying more sunscreen.... pic.twitter.com/l9fZ4NdQ6l— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) May 8, 2015
Just For Kicks
Concerns about hair, wardrobe choices, props management and whether goalkeeper gloves go with Hope Solo's outfit give way to Abby Wambach taunting the sound guys, kids and dogs crashing the shoot, "the most ugliest photo," a hockey helmet for Becky Sauerbrunn and lots of impromptu laughter. In late-April, U.S. Soccer released the excellent series of "One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories." videos, and, this past week, released the outtakes clip reel:
Get to know Team USA in advance of the FIFA Women's World Cup by watching all 23.
With one of the sweetest releases in the sport and an ability to take over games for the team with the NBA's best regular season record, it's no wonder Stephen Curry was recently named the league's MVP. Curry, who will likely be in USA Basketball's conversation when it comes time to assemble a team for Rio, now has the Warriors in the second round of the playoffs, but the NBA did stop to honor him with a compilation video. Even in slow motion, Curry's shooting release and ball skills are quick and precise. And, for something on the lighter side, check out a move at 1:34 that had the basketball world buzzing when a behind-the-back dribble faked Olympian Chris Paul to the floor.
Sunsets And Palm Trees
Congratulations are in order for newlyweds Charlie White and Tanith Belbin, who were married in April. The figure skating power couple checked in from their honeymoon:
Bundles Of Joy
Being a world-class athlete means very little to their young children. At some point in their lives, those young children may look back at the accomplishments of their parents, but toddlers are a notoriously selfish demographic.
Perhaps the best U.S.-born hockey player in history, Mike Modano, like most parents, still has an uphill battle in impressing his twins. Still, three-time Olympian has a sense of humor about it.
And guess whose kid learns how to say no early. All of them, including Olympic gymnast Jonathan Horton's:
What do you get the man who has just about everything? Earvin "Magic" Johnson has an NCAA title, three NBA MVP trophies, three NBA Finals MVP trophies, five NBA titles and an Olympic gold medal. He's also a successful businessman and a part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Thanks to Xavier University of Louisiana, you can call him doc. Johnson received an honorary doctor of business degree over the weekend.