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."
POTUS, Meet Us
Playing like a girl took on whole new meaning earlier this week when the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team visited the White House and President Obama lauded their achievements with a quote that lit up social media in a hurry. The principals involved also made a splash on timelines, selfie-ing their ways in and around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We've compiled some of the better shots below.
Luckily, throughout her career, two-time Olympic gold medalist Abby Wambach (more on her in a moment), had better aim on the field than she did with her phone.
Hope Solo was also able to catch the group with Marine One.
Per usual, Team USA also had some fun along the way.
Ashlyn Harris and Heather O'Reilly considered President Obama's line the highlight of an unforgettable day.
One doesn't often see Marine One taking off, but the U.S. Soccer Women's National Team Twitter feed was on the spot.
Wambach's flare for the dramatic also came into play on Tuesday, as she announced her retirement after the visit. The Rochester, New York, native and veteran with 252 caps called it a career having scored a staggering 184 international goals, the most by anyone — anyone, man or woman — ever.
Thought of as one of the greatest of all time, Mia Hamm sent along what had to be accepted as a truly humbling tweet. When Mia Hamm refers to you as the G.O.A.T., that ranks among the Greatest Compliments of All Time.
@AbbyWambach Thank you for carrying the game on your shoulders and leading us with such character, courage, and grit. Congrats. G.O.A.T.— Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm) October 27, 2015
Of course, those closest to Wambach were among the hundreds sending good thoughts.
My best friend, you've changed the game forever. https://t.co/HuVoFn6AvA— Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) October 27, 2015
And when you hear from one of the most competitive and decorated team athletes in the history of any sport, you know you've done something right.
In her first apres-career post on Instagram, Wambach, with a priceless view of Washington Monument, looked toward her future. Sort of.
Perhaps Wambach can use hew newfound downtime take a vacation. And if she's looking for travel tips, the Eatons may have some. Defending Olympic champion and world-record holder in the decathlon Ashton Eaton and his wife, Canadian track star Brianne Theisen-Eaton, began a long trip to Africa on Oct. 18 in Mozambique, where their itinerary included visiting a school with Right to Play, and checked in from some stunning destinations.
Drinking coffee watching the giraffes eat, the hippos swim, and looking out onto the Masai Mara. pic.twitter.com/TweQCleqIq— Eaton (@WeAreEaton) October 25, 2015
Perseverance Pays Off
After veering off course and landing outside the sand pit during his long jump final, three-time Paralympic medalist Lex Gillette came back to earn gold at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha with an impressive leap of 6.38 meters.
The effort earned him #ballerstatus in the eyes of six-time Olympic medalist swimmer Allison Schmitt, who received this inspiring line in return from Gillette:
So often, we're caught up in winning and success and gold. There is a place for all of that, of course, but training and competing as one of the very best in the world isn't easy. Sometimes, there isn't a podium at the end of the rainbow. And, when they're isn't, we now have a sense of how Aly Raisman responds. While her team was on its way to gold in Glasgow and Simone Biles became the first gymnast to win three consecutive world all-around titles, the Olympic gold medalist faltered in her individual event.
I'm heartbroken & sorry for those I've let down. Congrats to my teammates, they killed it! Thanks 2 the coaches & girls for the ❤️ & support— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) October 24, 2015
How did she fill the time that opened up, unfortunately, in her schedule?
Back On Ice
An elite athlete can be his or her own worst critic, and Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, back on the ice and training for an appearance on the near horizon (note her countdown clock), was no different in her assessment of her own form.
Off the ice, Yamaguchi earned a pair of significant honors this week, first from a childhood idol.
On Wednesday evening, Yamaguchi was honored by the California Hall of Fame, along with Robert Downey Jr., David Hockney, Lester Holt, Bruce Lee, Ellen Ochoa, Buck Owens and Charles Schulz.
Paying It Forward
Paralympic bronze medalist and New York Times bestselling author Amy Purdy used her powers for good this week, working out something very, very cool with the help of a prosthetist.
Oh my gosh you guys I'm so excited! Remember that adorable little boy I posted about this summer with two prosthetic legs? All he wanted to do was run, so I hooked him up with my fried Zach Harvey who is a local prosthetist and he made him mini little running blades! Typically these are not made for kids his age, but they were able to modify them! I'm so excited because tomorrow I will run with him for the first time when he tries them on!!! I can't wait and they are so cute!!! #babyblades
Yes, Duckmaster. Olympic gold medalist middleweight boxing legend-in-the-making and Rio hopeful Claressa Shields has had herself a pretty impressive week. In Memphis for the Olympic Trials, Shields jumped out to a 3-0 record to secure a spot in the championship round. Perhaps nothing, however, will compare in terms of lasting memories to this, courtesy a local hotel:
The Peabody Ducks were clearly in good hands. And well-protected.
A New Whip
You might as well go out on top. 2012 Olympian and 2016 rowing hopeful Gevvie Stone said farewell to an old friend and teammate — her boat — earlier this month with her sixth win at the Head of the Charles Regatta in her native Massachusetts. (Yes, she said farewell, using #goodbyemybaby as a hashtag.) Stone, who also isn't all that far removed from completing four years of medical school, will continue training for Rio in a brand new ride.
This past weekend, the Princeton alum finished third at the 2015 Gold Cup Challenge.
Last Word ...
Next week in this space we'll share some of the best Halloween posts from over the weekend. Here's a little hint ...