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Red, White & Trending: April 22-28

By Jamie MacDonald | April 29, 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."

100 Days And Counting

This past week, the Rio Games made their presence felt to a degree so many of us had been waiting for: 100 days out. In the words of Olympic gold medalist swimmer Summer Sanders, This is when it gets real...when your head hits the pillow and you dream of AMAZING moments!. For Team USA, this isn't much more than three months left to prepare for some of the biggest days of their lives. Some have been there before. Some know it's their last shot. Some will become household names. And while so many of us caught some of the action from Times Square or through many media timelines, here's a closer look at the feeling of #100DaysOut from the perspective of what it meant to the athletes.

For recently qualified (and two-time Olympian) canoeist Casey Eichfeld, it began in a room with a view of Times Square.

Eichfeld then made his way to the Toast to Team USA event at the Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday evening:

By early the next morning, Eichfeld and his sensible and stylish hat were in the thick of the action:

So much great energy!!!!! We are @teamusa!!!!! -- #teamusa #RoadtoRio #rio2016 #100DaysOut #timessquare

A photo posted by Casey Eichfeld (@themadkanuer) on

Eichfeld's takeaway? In a classy statement posted on Instagram: "I am proud to be an athlete for @teamusa, and I'm equally as proud to be a part of a group encouraging youth to be active and healthy!! This 100 Days Out event was unforgettable!!! I've met so many athletes, made new friends, have new sports to cheer for, and have had so much fun along the way!!!! There are no complaints from this United States canoeist!!!!!" By Thursday evening, he was already home with training on his mind.

Like Eichfeld, Paralympic wheelchair racer Aaron Pike also found a surfboard photo op on Tuesday evening at MoMA:

#100DaysOut #teamusa #roadtorio

A photo posted by sirpike (@sirpike) on

Olympic gold medalist water polo player Courtney Mathewson captured a sense of the calm before the Wednesday morning storm in Times Square:

Wednesday didn't suffer from star power, either. Take a moment to think about all the Olympic moments in this golden selfie from Olympic gold medalist diver David Boudia (along with nine-time Olympic gold medalist track and field legend Carl Lewis and Olympic gold medalist gymnast Nastia Liukin), whose selfie looks good from a second angle, too:

En garde with Jason Pryor, Miles Chamley-Watson and Ibtihaj Muhammad, who later fenced with First Lady Michelle Obama:

Olympic champion and multiple-medal threat in Rio Allyson Felix made it a family affair:

So many of Team USA's athletes in New York for the event came away sharing their heartfelt thanks, including high-flying trampoline gymnast Jeff Gluckstein:

As did, with gratitude, diver Steele Johnson:

There was more than enough room for fun, too. Thank you, bearded wonders Brad Snyder, the Paralympic star swimmer, and Seth Weil of USRowing.

Olympic medalist volleyball player Courtney Thompson may have had more fun than most:

#100daystorio #rio2016. Let's do this! @usavolleyball

A video posted by Court Ney (@cthomp_3) on

Four-time Olympic triathlete Hunter Kemper wasn't in the Times Square mix, but he was in the spirit:

100 days till the Olympics in Rio! Get ready to support @teamusa on @nbcolympics #roadtorio2016 #100daysout

A video posted by Hunter Kemper (@hunterkemper) on

Oh, And Don't Forget ...

... to train. A 100 Days Out celebration wasn't going to get in the way of saber fencer Dagmara Wozniak, who in March became the 50th athlete to qualify for Rio, on a workout day.

36: Hrs of #100DaysOut media 0: Practices missed Hard work pays. Always and in all ways. #TeamUSA #RoadToRio #usfencing

A photo posted by Dagmara Wozniak (@dagmarawozniak) on


Four-time Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross announced retirement plans ("I am so excited to celebrate with one last lap around the world and I hope you will follow along"), which, of course, prompted a great deal of reaction. Including from a contemporary, who had a little fun with the news.

So much love today... But this takes the cake.... Thanks @lolojones ☺️ #Respeck #Teammates @usatf πŸ‘ŠπŸΎ

A photo posted by Sanya Richards-Ross (@sanyarichiross) on


Marquise Goodwin's Road to Rio has included the 2012 London Games as a long jumper and 24 games in the NFL as a wide receiver. But it hasn't always been easy. Over the weekend, he'd posted this: "The environment I grew up in was supposed to break me... It made me stronger"

Going forward, may the wind be at his back, and his hurdles be this easy to clear:

No Slowing McFadden

Eleven-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden has enjoyed a remarkable few weeks. On April 18, the wheelchair marathon star won Boston. Again. On April 21, she celebrated a birthday. On April 23, she won London's marathon. Again. To the victor went some spoils, too:

Top 3 and the Prince of course...trying to keep my cool....he's such a gentleman...best birthday present!

A photo posted by TatyanaMcfadden (@tatyanamcfaddenusa) on

On Wednesday, she was back in New York for #100DaysOut, managing a selfie trifecta with The Band Perry.

Bittersweet Goodbye

Filed under "elite athlete problems" would be regular visits from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Part of the charm in these visits is that they often take place at the crack of dawn. But, if Olympic fencing star Mariel Zagunis is being honest, these visits mean a great deal.

My #USADA Doping Control Officer Monica visited me for the last time a few days ago...no, that doesn't mean I'm no longer getting drug tested πŸ˜†πŸ˜† She is moving from Portland and won't be able to surprise me anymore by knocking on my door at 6am! For years this woman tracked me down at various locations and watched me pee into a cup, and now a new DCO will take her place. Never thought I'd say this but it was bitter sweet saying goodbye to this 'stranger' with whom I was so familiar and that to this day must keep her face anonymous from the rest of the world πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜† #TeamUSA #RoadToRio #dopingcontrol #drugfree #ICompeteClean #athlete #fencerproblems #fencing #fencer #fechten #scherma #escrime #esgrima

A photo posted by @mariel.zagunis on

Paper Anniversary

A year ago, Team USA celebrated the wedding of a pair of Olympians, silver medalist ice dancer Tanith Belbin and gold medalist ice dancer Charlie White. A pair of Team USA's most active social media follows chimed in with their congratulations:

Fastest Man In Rugby

Carlin Isles is one of the fastest athletes anywhere to be found on the Team USA landscape, but the football-player-turned-rugby-player slowed down long enough to be caught working on an underrated skill in all sports: his balance.

Getting that balance in!!! @itkeving

A video posted by Carlin Isles (@carlinisles) on

For a sense of Isles' quicks, check out the highlight reel posted earlier this month by USA Sevens.

When you use the #SPEED cheat code in #rugby πŸƒπŸ’¨πŸ’¨ @carlinisles #rugby7s #rugbygram #zoomzoom

A video posted by USA Sevens (@usasevensrugby) on

Higher Gear

For a racing fan on the scale of Olympic gold medalist and Rio hopeful swimmer Tyler Clary, this ranks as an all-timer of a day. Clary's ride-along program came courtesy NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Gentlemen, start your engine.

Thoughts And Prayers

Recently retired high jumper Jamie Nieto, a two-time Olympian and a four-time national champion, suffered a severe injury this past week, leaving him unable to walk and requiring emergency spine surgery. Dozens of Team USA athletes have rallied to support Nieto, who had reportedly recently cancelled his health insurance.

Nieto appeared in an emotional video posted this past Wednesday, and it's worth watching the entire 3:26 message of hope and love.

Because It's The Cup

Olympic soccer player Brian McBride may have played his college soccer in St. Louis, but he was born in Arlington Heights, Illinois, which is also known as Chicago Blackhawks country. So, on Monday night during Game 7, a game featuring Team USA Olympians Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis), David Backes (St. Louis) and Patrick Kane (Chicago), his allegiances were clear.

Taylor Twellman, on the other hand, was raised in St. Louis, and attended Saint Louis University High School. The rooting interests of Twellman, who played for Team USA's Under-17 and Under-20 teams, and made senior appearances from 2002-08, were also clear.

In this case, Twellman took the win when St. Louis beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.

Simone Biles Needs Some Sleep

Related Athletes

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Casey Eichfeld

USA Canoe Kayak
American Canoe
Canoe Slalom
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Dagmara Wozniak

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Sanya Richards-Ross

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Marquise Goodwin

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Tatyana McFadden

Nordic Skiing
US Paralympics
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Mariel Zagunis

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Tanith Belbin

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Charlie White

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Carlin Isles

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Tyler Clary

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Jamie Nieto

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Simone Biles