What are Team USA athletes — Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls — 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."
The Big Year
If you’re wondering what has been going on in the life of Tim Morehouse since winning an Olympic silver medal in fencing at the Beijing Games, he’s now more than a little busy. In fact, his fencing club, based in New York City, is taking off. While his most famous pupil may be TV personality Tim Gunn, who raved about Morehouse’s club to Jimmy Fallon, the operation’s focus is clear.
Tim Morehouse Fencing Club has even outgrown its first four walls.
His family has expanded, too …
USA Diving’s Winter Nationals came to a close this past week at Ohio State’s McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, where Olympians Steele Johnson, in the men’s 3-meter, and Amy (Cozad) Magana, in the women’s 10-meter, earned titles. But a certain elf tried as hard as he could to steal a share of the spotlight …
Of course, as any parent knows, life with an elf isn’t always smooth, as two-time Olympian Kara Goucher can, as the mother of a 6-year-old, affirmatively attest.
Not only is Lindsey Vonn an Olympic alpine skiing legend, but her reputation in the gym is also well-established. For her most recent feats of strength, not even a broken arm a few weeks earlier could keep her from curling dumbbells or, somewhat insanely, banging out broken-arm pull-ups. This week, earning more than 90,000 likes in the process, she’s back on her feet.
And if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who insists he is peerless among athletes in the gym, brings up only your name, you know you’re doing something right.
While on the topic of workouts …
Think golfers are mailing it in during their workouts? Have a look at Olympian Lexi Thompson throwing around more than the weight of a few clubs during a recent trip to the gym.
Ronda Rousey Return Beckons
We’ve periodically checked in over the past few weeks on the much-anticipated return of Olympic judoka-turned-MMA-phenomenon Ronda Rousey, and, by this time next week, fight night will have arrived. There’s no telling whether her training will hinder her social media postings this coming week, but, for now, her social presence has been strong — almost daily. To wit …
This image gained more than 20,000 likes in 30 minutes and was up to nearly 85,000 within an hour:
Another quarter of a million likes here …
And more than 325,000 likes here …
It would be a tall ask for a personal emoji in time for the holidays, but, when you’re Laurie Hernandez, Olympic champion gymnast, recent "Dancing with the Stars" winner and all-around bright light on the sporting landscape, things like that tend to happen.
In addition to being a basketball dad, Scottie Pippen is an Olympic Dream Teamer, a six-time National Basketball Association champion and a Hall of Famer. Has his daughter caught the hoops bug, too? On a side note, notice a theme among these Pippin siblings’ handles?: @sophiapippen33, @justinpippen33 and @spippen_33. Yes, their dad wore No. 33 during his more than 1,000 games in the NBA.
Speaking of basketball stars and their daughters, hoops legend Kobe Bryant, recently retired after 20 years in the NBA, posted his first pic of his third daughter, Bianka Bella Bryant, who was born on Dec. 5.
Not only do the Olympics and Paralympics give athletes the opportunity to perform at the highest level every four years, but the cycle works for broadcasters, too. This week, Sports Illustrated recognized few of Team USA’s finest for their coverage during the Rio Games. Three-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer, Rowdy Gaines earned honors as the Analyst of the Year, as well as an honorable mention nod for Broadcast Team of the Year. He also splashed some credit in the direction of his partner.
In Olympic and Paralympic years, Team USA’s work is rewarded with the competition so many elite athletes use as a motivating spot on the horizon. Make no mistake that the quadrennial television appearances, however, are earned by near-daily workouts while few are watching. Still, every once in a while, even the best need a break. And very few athletes in the world have competed more often at an elite level this past year than Paralympic track star Tatyana McFadden, who spent the first days of winter enjoying the sunshine in Mexico.
Enjoy the range of emotions that lead to relief for Olympic pairs skater Felicia Zhang:
Me during this week of "pre-finals" pic.twitter.com/aH2AeuqlTt— Felicia Zhang (@felicia_zhang) December 14, 2016
In 3 hours and 31 minutes I'll finish my last final... then onto Christmas celebrations!!! 🎄🎄🎄 pic.twitter.com/FCL3J3prPg— Felicia Zhang (@felicia_zhang) December 22, 2016
Fall 2016 semester kicked my butt, but it's finally over! Time for the holidays ☺️☺️🎄🎉🎊— Felicia Zhang (@felicia_zhang) December 22, 2016
NFL seasons are winding down, all too quickly for a good number of teams that won’t see the playoffs, but that’s not stopping Team USA’s athletes with rooting interests from repping.
When she’s not training or competing as one of the most dominating athletes in her sport, Rio triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen can occasionally be found surfing social media. She may, however, be steering clear of the quizzes.
From Our House To Yours
The Hamiltons: Sending out family picture cards since before sending out family picture cards was cool …
How many trees is too many trees?
Glad tidings from the Stars (on Ice) …
It’s a plaid, plaid world for the Millers …
Thank you, Kevin Love …
And Simone Manuel on why this is the best time of the year (hint: donuts)...
The holidays are a time when you can justify eating 5 donuts and an apple fritter in one sitting. 😳😅— Simone Manuel (@simone_manuel) December 18, 2016