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."
The Lolo Effect
Olympic hurdler and bobsledder Lolo Jones is rehabbing at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. And, where Lolo goes, so does her sense of humor. And style. In fact, it was infectious. Kudos to Olympic medalist swimmers Allison Schmitt and Haley Anderson for playing along.
"When I was 12, I found out women's hockey was going to be in the Olympics, and that was my goal." - Angela Ruggiero
Ruggiero merely went on to play in four Olympic Winter Games as one of the best women's ice hockey players in the world during a career that included four Olympic medals. This week, Ruggiero became only the fourth women's player enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. (She also became the answer to a trivia question: Who is the first California-born player enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame?)
The honor adds to Ruggiero's already impressive resume: Harvard alum, International Olympic Committee member, United States Olympic Committee board, Women's Sports Foundation board. "I think I'm a testament that anything is possible," she said during her speech.
A few more tangible reminders of the lifetime achievement award:
My official plaque in the Hall of Fame...Sergei Fedorov and I are forever next door neighbors pic.twitter.com/C87zgNO795— Angela Ruggiero (@AngelaRuggiero) November 8, 2015
Also going into the Hall over the weekend was the smooth-skating defenseman Phil Housley. Housley, already a member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame after scoring more than 1,200 points as a National Hockey League defenseman, one who famously made the jump from his high school team to the NHL, was somewhat infamously caught by surprise at the time he learned of the Hall of Fame news.
Housley, who played for Team USA at seven IIHF World Championships and one Olympic Winter Games, mentioned the moment in his speech, then gave heartfelt thanks to the vital role his wife played in his career.
Masters Her Destiny
If you missed the humbling account of Oksana Masters returning to Ukraine for the first time as an adult, which ran this past week on TeamUSA.org, consider it a must-read. And while her inspiring story of overcoming a traumatizing childhood in an orphanage to becoming a multi-sport Paralympic star is in itself gripping, so, too, is her own personal account of the trip.
I am beyond lucky to have had this opportunity. Thank you Ukraine for embracing me so kindly. 💜🙏🏼🌻 https://t.co/ZswoF1q5MC— Oksana Masters (@OksanaMasters) November 8, 2015
And, oh, by the way, Masters was recently named among the Team USA Awards finalists for Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year Presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods. Vote as many times as humanly possible (until Nov. 20) at TeamUSA.org/Awards.
The Year of Amazing continued for the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team this past week. After World Cup wins, high-profile retirements, television commercials, radio appearances, weddings, awards and red carpets, the accolades continued with a magazine recognition as Team USA among the Women of the Year.
Not far removed from their U.S. International Classic win in September, ice dance duo Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue were featured in a behind-the-scenes video from a magazine photo shoot.
The pair will compete this weekend at the 2015 Trophee Eric Bompard in Bordeaux, France.
Meanwhile, two-time world champion and 2012 Olympic triathlete Gwen Jorgensen will also be coming to newsstands near you.
But the fun isn't going to stop there for the most dominant athlete in her sport. Another day, another magazine shoot.
Bump, Set, Eat
Beach volleyball Olympian Phil Dalhausser, along with partner Nick Lucena, is in Doha for the Qatar Open as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour hits the home stretch for 2015. Prior to the close of pool play in Doha, Dalhausser tweeted out evidence that, at the very least, he has ample dessert options.
Dalhausser and Lucena have advanced to the tournament's semis in Doha, where there's a chance at an all-Team USA final.
Olympic water polo gold medalist Maggie Steffens can cross South America off her list of visited continents. In Rio, after "18 hours of flying, layovers, and delays," Team USA is training in the 2016 Olympic Games host city — an experience that quickly had Steffens calling it, "Inspiration to work that much harder and make sure we make it back here next August!" And no wonder. The views are spectacular.
On Thursday, the team gathered for a priceless moment.
In The Starting Blocks
Wondering how the Road to Rio begins for decathlon world-record holder and defending Olympic champion Ashton Eaton? Here's Day 1:
Road To Rio-covery?
Olympic gymnast Jake Dalton's rehab from a shoulder procedure began in earnest this past fall, and he continues to make strides on what he hopes is the Road to Rio. Clearly, he's comfortable in the air.
… And in slo-mo, from another session.
Shooting Star Is Born?
When your parents have combined for six Olympic shooting medals, that's a pretty good head start on the competition for the newborn daughter of three-time rifle shooting medalist Matt Emmons and Czech three-time medalist Katerina Emmons.
At 1:45pm today, Nov 10, the newest member of our family was born! Emma Kaely Emmons. Mom and baby are doing well. pic.twitter.com/e12lvVOsDu— Matt Emmons (@MattEmmonsUSA) November 10, 2015
For his part, Emmons has, thanks to USA Shooting’s points system, already qualified for the Rio Games.
The Last Word …
Be inspired (in this case by Paralympic star Amy Purdy):
Working my way back up! Nothing feels better then starting! After 4 solid days with my trainer and a good day on snow I already feel stronger, motivated and inspired! No matter what our circumstances we are all capable of being better, stronger, happier today then we were yesterday. Whatever it is don't hesitate, start now! @actioncam #actioncam #startnow #livebeyondlimits @elementeden @crossfitlowoxygen #fembotfitness