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."
A long weekend for many, Martin Luther King Jr. Day took on greater significance earlier this week for three-time Olympic gold medalist basketball player Tamika Catchings, when she became the first woman to receive the Civil Rights Museum Legacy Award. To see the dozens of comments of support she received in the aftermath, visit Catchings' Twitter timeline.
Train, Train, Train
Yes, swimming legend Michael Phelps does some housework:
The most-decorated athlete in Olympic history isn't shy when it comes to more traditional workouts in preparation for Rio, either:
Through Jan. 24, Saint Paul, Minnesota, will host the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which will feature ladies, men’s, pairs and ice dance competitions, and constellation of Team USA skating stars — among them defending champion Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold, Polina Edmunds, Max Aaron, Adam Rippon, defending pairs champions Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim, Tarah Kayne and Daniel O’Shea, as well as ice dance duos Madison Chock and Evan Bates, Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue.
Wagner, a 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, and Rippon struck a fierce tone a few days before the event began.
Jason Brown, unfortunately, won't be able to defend his title due to injury, but he's still thinking of his Team USA teammates.
Best of luck to everyone competing at #USChamps16 & congrats to those who have finished! Positive & Congratulatory vibes coming your way! ✨— Jason Brown (@jasonbskates) January 21, 2016
Covering the action? Olympic figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, who share not only a friendship, but a social media account … and, here, a Zamboni ride.
After taking one of Team USA's six podium finishes at the IPC World Cup giant slalom event in Tarvisio, Italy, two-time Paralympic ski racer Tyler Walker and his teammates made the seven-hour drive to St. Moritz, Switzerland. While some, including Jamie Stanton, went sightseeing, Walker preferred to take to the slopes, where his brand of fun involved catching perhaps too much air. Pal and teammate Andrew Kurka certainly enjoyed the result.
Meanwhile, In Montana
Multi-sport Paralympic star Oksana Masters, on the other hand, kept her skis on the ground to train in what amounted to a pretty nice day at the office.
One of the great byproducts of all things social is the Internet holiday, from National Popcorn Day to National Hug Day, both of which happened this past week.
Earlier in the week, Dream Teamer Scottie Pippen celebrated National Popcorn Day. That's right, Pip and pop.
NFL, Part 1
Another week of the NFL playoffs, another week with a fantastic postseason finish and another week of the best athletes in the world reacting in real-time when it's too much to sit idly by when the theater unfolds. When Aaron Rodgers' off-balance, falling Hail Mary pass found its way into the end zone to force an overtime that seemed impossible only a few minutes earlier, timelines erupted.
Skeleton bronze medalist and Wisconsin native Matt Antoine:
Two-time Olympic gold medalist basketball player Swin Cash had a unique point of view, too:
Two-time Olympic medalist swimmer Elizabeth Beisel had an interesting proposal:
Aaron Rodgers marry me— Elizabeth Beisel ⚓ (@ebeisel34) January 17, 2016
But track athlete and 4×400-meter silver medalist Manteo Mitchell (more from him later) may have carried the day with this selfie:
In overtime, an equally unlikely run-back by one of the best wide receivers in the world, Larry Fitzgerald, led to an Arizona Cardinals win when he ran the ball in for a touchdown on an ensuing play.
Afterward, three-time Olympic medalist basketball player LeBron James had love for both the principal players, and both posts were liked by more than 10,000 of his more than 27 million followers.
Ball game! Only right Fitz seal it.— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 17, 2016
Great game! Always Salute to my boy @AaronRodgers12! You're a legend— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 17, 2016
NFL, Part 2
When Manning-Brady has its next, and perhaps final, edition this Sunday, a special guest will be in attendance: six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen.
Tale Of The Tape
This qualifies as a very poor matchup rotation for Team USA. "Stretch" Middleton is a 7-foot-4 member of the Harlem Globetrotters, which gives him more than two feet on Olympic gold medalist gymnast Shawn Johnson.
Kudos to Adam Goucher. His wife, Olympic marathoner Kara Goucher, appears to have some high expectations when it comes to putting things away … expectations he fulfilled enough to have earned a post from the wife.
When your husband understands your annoying need for perfection and rolls up the Christmas lights like this❤️🎄 pic.twitter.com/CTziI9NTrt— Kara Goucher (@karagoucher) January 18, 2016
Out Of The Tube
Freeskiing enthusiasts may know of Aaron Blunck as the 2014 halfpipe Olympian, but he proved at California's Mammoth Mountain this past week he's pretty good outside the 'pipe, too.
When you believe your opponent is more powerful or faster than you think you are ...
"Precision beats power and timing beats speed."— Marlen Esparza (@Marlen112Boxing) January 17, 2016