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."
Leroux Says I Do
Fall wedding season is in full swing, and, considering her own schedule this past summer, it only made sense for Team USA soccer standout and Olympic gold medalist Sydney Leroux to opt for a fall wedding. This past August, Leroux put out a call on Twitter asking for a clever wedding hashtag, and her fans came through with nearly 1,000 options for her marriage to English-born MLS forward Dom Dwyer (#lerouxsaysido, #dwyingtheknot and #WEDcard were our favorites). When it came down to the big day, though, No. 2 went the heartfelt route.
Today, I marry my best friend and the love of my life. #DwyerLerouxSayIDo— Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) October 9, 2015
As one might imagine, a good number of Team USA stars were in attendance — and earning high points for sartorial splendor. You know who can rock a suit? Team USA goaltender Ashlyn Harris and midfielder Megan Rapinoe.
Forward Alex Morgan shared a private moment with the bride-to-be during the pregame warm-up, of sorts, for what could have spawned its own hashtag (#handhug) and did wind up earning nearly 200,000 likes.
Morgan later posted a shot with more teammates, while goaltender Hope Solo captured the wedding crew.
For his part, Dwyer also called it The best day of my life ❤️, but because wedding days should be about the bride, we'll leave the last comment to the bride herself.
Sliding Season … Almost
In theory, this is sliding season in upstate New York. The signs are there, of course, as the Adirondacks are on fire with fall colors and Team USA's bobsled, luge and skeleton athletes are in Lake Placid for training. Unfortunately, the temperatures aren't always cooperating, and the sliders aren't always able to take to the ice as much as they'd like. On the upside, sightseeing in and around Whiteface Mountain makes for a great day, as Olympic skeleton hopeful Savannah Graybill showed during an unscheduled off-day.
Women's bobsled driver and 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Greubel, along with Olympic hopeful Lauren Gibbs, did eventually manage to squeeze in a few runs at the Mount Van Hoevenberg track.
Veronica Day, a high school track star and Olympic hopeful in the sport of skeleton, posted a video that might give you a sense of life in this particular fast lane.
Olympic gold medalist ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White kicked off another season of skating at historic Rockefeller Center.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, White's wife, Olympic silver medalist ice dancer Tanith Belbin White, watched from afar.
Prior to an unfortunate instance of being tracked by paparazzi in South Korea, the host country for this week's LPGA tour stop in Incheon, Olympic hopeful Lexi Thompson traded her clubs for a gala event earlier this week.
Clearly in the thick of a race to represent Team USA next summer, Thompson ranks fifth on the 2015 LPGA money list, fourth in both scoring average and driving distance, and third in greens in regulation.
Paralympic medalist alpine skier Danelle Umstead, who recently wrote the humbling and inspiring "Top 3 Reasons Life Is Better As A Blind Person" for TeamUSA.org, could be found this past week training with her husband outside Innsbruck, Austria, on the slopes of Hintertux Glacier, the country's only year-round ski resort.
A day later, her guide dog, Aziza, thousands of air-miles later, arrived on the scene.
Aziza seemed to enjoy a blanket of newly fallen snow.
Aziza getting her first tracks #turns in #Austria for this season #SnowDog #PlayingInTheSnow #MyGuideDogsLife #HappyDog Guide Dogs for the BlindPosted by Danelle Umstead, Vision4Gold on Wednesday, October 14, 2015
First In The Second City, Aaaagain
Enter, race, win, repeat. That's pretty much what life has been like for Paralympic star Tatyana McFadden when it comes to the Chicago Marathon. McFadden won her fifth consecutive women's wheelchair race, which also qualified her for the 2016 Paralympic Games. Already with wins at the Boston Marathon and London Marathon to her credit in 2015, the addition of the Chicago crown has the queen of wheelchair racing on the verge of a grand slam with the New York City Marathon on the horizon next month. McFadden offered a post-race shout-out to her favorite sidekick, Hannah McFadden.
Hannah McFadden, also a Paralympian and headed to Doha, Qatar, for the IPC Athletics World Championships (Oct. 21-31), has an inspiring story of her own, not to mention one of the most powerful images of the week:
Beginning Oct. 23 in Glasgow, Scotland, more than 500 of the best gymnasts in the world will begin competition for medals at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Thanks to Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, we have a candid image of the 2015 U.S. women's world championships team.
Worlds 2015 💋 pic.twitter.com/XoxUDEkC4c— Gabrielle Douglas (@gabrielledoug) October 12, 2015
Team USA consists of Simone Biles, Douglas, Brenna Dowell, Madison Kocian, Maggie Nichols, Aly Raisman and MyKayla Skinner. The U.S. men's world championships team includes Chris Brooks, Marvin Kimble, Danell Leyva, Alex Naddour, Paul Ruggeri III, Donnell Whittenburg and Brandon Wynn.
Baseball History In The Making?
Lovable losers no more, the Cubs, a franchise with a World Series drought that reaches back more than 100 years, are set for the National League Championship Series as part of Major League Baseball's final four. Among the most valuable Cubs has been Olympic medalist Dexter Fowler. Fowler hit six home runs to set a postseason record — to the delight of long-suffering Cubs fans … and his family.
Congratulations Cubs!! pic.twitter.com/ZzM8JQJ9qG— Darya Aliya Fowler (@DaryaAliya) October 14, 2015
The Cubs have three members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Men's Baseball Team that earned bronze in Beijing, including Cy Young contender Jake Arrieta and fellow pitcher Trevor Cahill.
The Last Word
Paralympic swimming standout and U.S. Naval Academy alum Brad Snyder had almost cornered the market on social media puns (witness examples of 'fall'ing and reLAXing examples), but we have a new clubhouse leader in Olympic medalist short track speedskater Aly Dudek, who checked in this week from Boulder Junction, Wisconsin, with a pun-tastic post.