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."
February is shaping up to be a pretty good month for snowboarding prodigy Chloe Kim. This past weekend, the teen made a measure of history when she became the first woman to complete consecutive 1080s on her way to a perfect 100-point run at the U.S. Grand Prix in Park City, Utah. The run in action, with its pace and amplitude, is one of the more impressive clips of video you'll see from a 15-year-old athlete.
Kim has now taken her talents to Scandinavia, where she'll have two chances to shine on the world stage, beginning with the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games (Feb. 12-21) in Lillehammer, Norway, where she will serve as Team USA's flag bearer.
Super Bowl Flashback
This past weekend marked the finale of the NFL season with the Super Bowl, the de facto annual holiday now watched by more than 100 million viewers and offering a chance for those fans, including a sizable block of Team USA athletes, to take to Twitter (nearly four million tweets during the halftime show alone) and Instagram in droves.
Here are a few of our favorites:
The Broncos supporter ...
The legend, with heroes …
The well-fed …
Pauses* how many miles will it take to run off the calories? --- 🤔. Continues to heap food on plate with no care. pic.twitter.com/zLnjkfHYM6— Lolo Jones (@lolojones) February 7, 2016
The jersey luck …
The thoughtful …
I went in to the game rooting for the Riveras (obviously) and Peyton Manning. Peyton has been the athlete I've looked up to for as long as I remember. I appreciate his passion and dedication to his craft and couldn't be happier for the Super Bowl victory to be his 200th win of his career. Whether he's done or will continue, his legacy is not defined by his wins, but his unwavering character of being one of the most respected athletes of all time. This is just the beginning of the Panthers reign and I can't wait to see what Ron continues to build with their program. His resilience and belief in his own values and game plan is what got them this far and will get them even further in the future. Their time is coming... Watch out! #gopanthers #goRivera
The present …
The present, with a rooting interest …
… And The Superfan
Olympic swimming medalist and noted Broncos superfan Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, who is actively engaged in an effort to regain her walking abilities, had one of the more thrilling weeks. Married to former Broncos punter Tom Rouen, Van Dyken-Rouen had every reason to enjoy the Super Bowl. And that was before showing off an inspiring array of movement.
Thanks to the AVP's media day, a number of the beach volleyball league's players, including medal-winning Olympians and Rio hopefuls, reached some dizzying heights in New York City.
Partners Jennifer Kessy and Emily Day, who finished second in tour winnings in 2015, also had some time together in a decidedly more #glam setting.
One of the premiere events of the sliding season is underway in the stunning Austrian city of Innsbruck (two-time Olympic bobsledder Nick Cunningham referred to this vista as "One of the best views on the planet!"), and Team USA's Evan Weinstock brought us a little closer to the thrill of an opening ceremony.
City Of Lights
So often, the Eiffel Tower is framed as the star of an image — center stage and imposing. Travelers wait lifetimes and set itineraries around a Tour Eiffel visit, and they place the iconic ironwork in the crosshairs of their cameras and snap away. We find, thanks to volleyball outside hitter Kelsey Robinson, that the tower steals the show even in the background.
As part of what could be considered a #wanderlust series from Robinson, who is playing professionally in Italy, the 23-year-old has in the past two weeks visited Berlin and London (chiming in with a Big Ben photobomb), and snowboarded in the Alps.
Robinson and her teammates from the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, which last month earned Team USA a spot in Rio with a win at the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament, were also honored as a Best of January among Team USA Awards.
Catching Some ZZZs
Every now and again, an elite athlete, who doubles as a new mom and 2016 Paralympic hopeful, is going to need some time to shut things down. Such was the case for 2008 Paralympian and three-time paratriathlon world champion Melissa Stockwell.
Every. Single. Day.
Olympic gymnast Jake Dalton's rehab from a shoulder procedure, a process that began this past fall, continues. Working out at his alma mater, the 24-year-old shows just how far he's come along.
When you're a ski racer for a living, "home" often means the road, and not just any roads, either. It means roads through Switzerland and Austria and Germany and South Korea, all of which sounds very nice … until your wife is in labor with your first child. That's how two-time Olympic medalist Andrew Weibrecht found himself this past week while in Jeongseon, South Korea, while Denja was back in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Traveling to South Korea wasn't easy for Weibrecht, but, according to the Associated Press, his wife was more than supportive, and with a chance to scout the 2018 Games venue in the midst of a terrific season, off he went.
Doctors induced labor heading into the weekend, and Weibrecht raced on the course Sunday (finishing 14th), then raced back to the States to capture this priceless image of Adalina Clune Weibrecht:
Congratulations are also in order for two-time Olympic gymnast Jonathan Horton and his wife, who welcomed their second child this past week, Addie Lee Horton.
Yes, David Travis has a younger sister to "protect forever."
Congratulations are in order for two-time Olympic fencer Gerek Meinhardt and teammate Alexander Massialas, a 2012 Olympic fencer, who by virtue of their finishes at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Paris, qualified for Rio.
And, if you were wondering how good that feels, here's a good look at Massialas:
Not only is Olympic champion Allyson Felix a multiple-medal threat in Rio, but she also has an inside track to a hit television show in the form of actor cousin Nadyne Hicks. Here are some behind-the-scenes shots from her visit:
Heading into the weekend, Olympic snowboarder Ty Walker was in Boston for Big Air at Fenway in the iconic baseball park, where a 140-foot ramp has been constructed to host the cross-over event. But she also took advantage of the snowfall in the Northeast while about an hour south, in Providence, where she attends college. And builds her own snowboard course if the mood strikes.
Pull, Pull, Pull
Olympic BMX racer Nic Long could be found this past week training at the United States Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., where he was caught showing off his skills in this pretty hot start: