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."
Skiers Impacted By Chilean Earthquake
Members of the U.S. Ski Team, including Olympians Ted Ligety and Steven Nyman, had been training in Chile, at the stunning Portillo resort in the Andes Mountains, when the powerful earthquake struck along the country's coast. Olympic downhiller Travis Ganong posted a short video that captured some of the tense moments in the aftermath:
Two days prior to the earthquake, fellow downhiller and four-time Olympian Marco Sullivan captured the beauty of the Andes resort from a different perspective:
All He Sees Is Gold
Olympic gold medalist wrestler Jordan Burroughs — whose awesome Twitter handle is @alliseeisgold, and whose awesome bio begins with "Wrestle…Win…Repeat" — announced back on Aug. 31 that he would take a Twitter hiatus until after this past weekend's world championships in Las Vegas. "This is a time of complete focus and reflection," he wrote, followed by, "See ya September 13th." It was worth the wait. In the last match of the Las Vegas event, the 2012 Olympic freestyle champion won his third world title to go along with golds in 2011 and 2013, and his triumphant return to social media looked like this:
I'm a World Champion! pic.twitter.com/rpnHVKZLch— Jordan Burroughs (@alliseeisgold) September 13, 2015
Burroughs may have gone 6-0 through the tournament, but the road to gold wasn't without a few bumps, particularly to Burroughs' left eye.
The morning after. It's all worth it. pic.twitter.com/BSZtLMu9Nv— Jordan Burroughs (@alliseeisgold) September 13, 2015
Trotter Sees Gold, Too
Three-time Olympian DeeDee Trotter's internal countdown clock to Rio is officially ticking. This week, the 400-meter star kicked off her own journey of 1,000 miles with the first step.
For weeks, when one of the most famous women's golfers in the world, Rio hopeful Michelle Wie, posted to social media, she would crop out her feet and draw attention to the fact with a #croppedfeet hashtag. This week, she revealed the closely guarded secret: a very unique — and patriotic — pair of hightop golf shoes for this week's Solheim Cup. The U.S. vs. Europe women's tournament is already underway in Germany and will conclude on Sunday.
In action, the new kicks look a little something like this:
Three-time Olympic gold medalist and perhaps the best basketball player on earth, LeBron James, has basketball on his mind these days as the season beckons. King James and nearly all of his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates have turned Miami into Cleveland south for an unofficial training camp before official training camp, where James and Co., who lost in the NBA Finals, are setting their goals for 2015-16.
While James is considered by many to be the top established player in the game, 2012 Olympian Anthony Davis, at the age of 22, has become one of the most dominant young players in the game. Davis is a near lock to make his second Olympic team in Rio, and while he looks good in the red, white and blue, he will apparently have a chance to wear a special Mardi Gras combo of purple, gold and green this season for the New Orleans Hornets.
Olympic and Paralympic stories are often extraordinarily compelling, but few come with as many angles as Paralympic archer Lee Ford-Faherty's. Speedskating. Performing with fire. Making jewelry. Motivational speaking. She's a paralegal, too. And Ford-Faherty's stated goal is to win gold in Rio. From the looks of things, she's pointed in the right direction.
Congratulations are in order for women's basketball star Lisa Leslie, the four-time Olympic gold medalist who was recently inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as part of an 11-player class. The 6-foot-5 Leslie became the first woman to dunk in a WNBA game and has long been considered a pioneer in the sport. This past week, she also proved, again, to be an all-star speaker. "The name of my speech is, 'I didn't get here alone,'" she began, and it was 12 minutes of pure, unscripted class from there.
Leslie also took a few pics along the way.
What is the ideal wedding day beginning? For Olympic rower Sara Hendershot, who posted a pic of her and her fiancé picking up their marriage license two weeks ago, it includes a serious workout:
Hendershot finished fourth in the women's pairs event in London, barely out of the medals, and she told The Daily Princetonian this past June that finish will fuel her training as she looks ahead to Rio.
Also hearing wedding bells: Olympic short track speedskater Jessica Smith.
Get Well Soon
Misty May-Treanor and Brittany Hochevar finished among the top five at the season-ending Huntington Beach Open this past weekend, certainly a nice finish for May-Treanor, who retired but was competing to help out a friend, but it didn't come without cost for the veteran volleyball star and three-time Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist.
Great weekend again with Brit. Was sorry I couldn't do more in the last match. Anyone guess which one needs draining pic.twitter.com/FASbaqrGXc— Misty May-Treanor (@MistyMayTreanor) September 14, 2015
Former partner Kerri Walsh Jennings reached out to offer encouragement:
NOOOOO!!!!! 😔😞 feel better! I know you're in good hands w Doc. ❤️ https://t.co/5yqq3bQ7nZ— Kerri Walsh Jennings (@kerrileewalsh) September 14, 2015
Meanwhile, Olympic ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson, not far removed from knee surgery, is working her way back to form, slowly but surely.