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Red, White & Trending: March 25-31

By Jamie MacDonald | April 01, 2016, 2 p.m. (ET)

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."

Off On The Right Foot

Congratulations are in order for the U.S. women's water polo team, which earned a spot in Rio this past week by winning gold in Gouda, Netherlands. Considering their pregame routine, courtesy Sami Hill, Maggie Steffens and KK Clark, neither this patriotic little number, nor the socks, are likely to be retired any time soon.

Afterward, Hill included a bit more of Team USA in the shot ...

For a sense of what it means to accomplish an absurdly audacious goal, reaching the Olympic Games after years of hard work in what some consider to be the most grueling sport on the Olympic program, check out Clark still basking in the golden glow.

We Are The Worlds

The 2016 World Figure Skating Championships are underway though April 3 in Boston, where Team USA has already performed well and is poised to medal. If there's anything approximating a hometown advantage at worlds, it's held by 2014 Olympians Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani. Half of the brother-sister pair, which is only a few months removed from a U.S. title this past January, can claim Boston as his hometown. Alex was born in the city while his parents were students at Harvard.

Clearly, both have retained an affection for Beantown.

Not far from Fenway Park, Gracie Gold, who finished the ladies short program first, had warmed up earlier in the week with a shopping stroll down.


A photo posted by Gracie Gold (@graciegold95) on

On A Roll

Not only did more than 30,000 kids and families join President Obama and the First Lady at the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll, but so, too, did a few Team USA athletes.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist basketball player Swin Cash managed to meet up with the big man himself: Shaq.

Oh, yes. And President Obama, too.

On the other hand, dressed in black, U.S. soccer player Ali Krieger managed to find someone with a similar sartorial approach to the day.

He's lucky I didn't bring my lightsaber today. #jussaying

A photo posted by Ali Krieger (@akrieger11) on

Easter Milestones

Of course, timelines also blew up this past Sunday with more Easter themes, ranging from a care package for 2014 bobsledder Cory Butner, some serious spring shredding for Sage Kotsenburg, unfortunate family pictures for David Backes, a family hike for Joe Delagrave, a family feast for Tatyana McFadden and an epic four-generation family picture from Bode Miller. There were also milestones ...

Anniversaries ...

And one very impressive first at Cardiff State Beach in Southern California ...

Oh, Baby

With his eyes firmly set on Rio, Michael Phelps hadn't received more than 45,000 likes on an Instagram post since he and Nicole Johnson announced they were having a baby 19 weeks ago. Until this week. The occasion? His "baby shower."

Great times!!! Thanks for coming guys!! #babyp #babyshower #cowboys #firsttimewearingcowboyboots #thanksgeorgestrait

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

Yes, Johnson had a chance to celebrate, too.

The lives of these two are about to change ...

Powder For Days

Snow, snow and more snow seems to have been the forecast over the past few months in western ski areas — Utah, in this case. Somewhere in here is Olympic snowboarder Louie Vito:

Today was a good day... #WhiteRoom @snowbird #UtahIsRad #SoulBoarding

A photo posted by Louie Vito (@louievito) on

Meanwhile, In The Gym

Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Hannah Teter has more than her share of fun in the mountains, which is so often reflected in her posts (here, here and here, for instance), but while the mountains are always calling her, she's also pretty comfortable in the gym. Take a look at a thumbnail sketch of a circuit from earlier this week:

It's time to spring into shape!;) #workout #getfit #thetimeisnow #noexcuses

A video posted by Hannah Teter (@hannahteter) on

Fore, Score

This week's pro-am event in advance of the now-underway LPGA Tour stop in Rancho Mirage, California, featured a dream team oasis of Team USA talent in the dessert.

Paula Creamer, who currently ranks 14th on the LPGA money list, brought out not only the chants of "U-S-A, U-S-A," but also, for sinking a soccer "putt," a big-time chest-bump from soccer legend Abby Wambach.

Routine tap in..... #nopressure #scaredoutofmymind #goodreadteam #thatoutfitthough #maze #FootGolf #anainspiration #boom

A video posted by Paula Creamer Heath (@paulacreamer1) on

When I woke up this morning I never thought this would happen!!!!!!! @abbywambach

A photo posted by Paula Creamer Heath (@paulacreamer1) on

Thanks to a conference featuring "Inspiring Women in Sports" running in tandem, the event also included a constellation of Olympic star power. In addition to Wambach, the roster featured Lindsey Vonn, Missy Franklin and Kristi Yamaguchi, along with the tournament's defending champion, American Brittany Lincicome. Vonn may have summed up the gathering best:

And, because a bet is a bet, Wambach wound up in the drink.

Rock Stars

Team USA finished sixth at the recently completed World Women’s Curling Championship in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, thereby earning seven points toward qualifying for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in the process. It also earned Team USA, featuring Erika Brown, Allison Pottinger, Nicole Joraanstad, Natalie Nicholson and Tabitha Peterson, a nice night out at the end of the event, captured by coach and two-time Olympian Ann Swisshelm.

Time Table

Open water swimmer Alex Meyer has a little more than four months to prepare for Rio, and he thought he had an ideal side project to help fill at least a little of the downtime.

New project...had to do something with all these bottle caps.

A photo posted by Alex Meyer (@alexmeyerswims) on

About an hour later, he posted this disappointing update:

Sooooo... anyone wanna mail me some bottle caps?

A photo posted by Alex Meyer (@alexmeyerswims) on

To Be Continued ...

We may have to check in with Paralympic star and self-professed globetrotter Amy Purdy, a travel pro caught making a rookie mistake, next week.

Related Athletes

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Sami Hill

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Maggie Steffens

Water Polo
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KK Clark

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Maia Shibutani

Figure Skating
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Alex Shibutani

Figure Skating
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Gracie Gold

Figure Skating
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Swin Cash

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Cory Butner

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Sage Kotsenburg

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David Backes

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Joe Delagrave

Wheelchair Rugby
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Bode Miller

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Michael Phelps

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Louie Vito

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Hannah Teter

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Abby Wambach

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Lindsey Vonn

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Nicole Joraanstad

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Alex Meyer

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Amy Purdy

US Paralympics