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Red, White & Trending: July 22-28

By Jamie MacDonald | July 29, 2016, 3:02 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."

Frame It On Rio

More than ever, this is a social Olympics. Timelines of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, a full week away from the Games, are already brimming with the kinds of emotions you might imagine from them. Joy, hope, expectation, gratitude. Mostly, though, these are the dream days, the calm before the storm for which they've prepared over the previous four years. Four long years, often of sacrifice, for these moments. And they are glorious.

Team "processing" is perhaps the most significant step on the long Road to Rio. It's a somewhat unfortunately technical term that could be described by many on the outside looking in as "the best day ever." Besides the procedural, this is where Team USA athletes pick up so much of their Rio swag.

Schwiiing! Official @usaarchery #olympic uniform. @teamusa #goteamusa #rio #rio2016 #roadtorio

A photo posted by Jake Kaminski (@jake_kaminski_) on

Double sculls rower Meghan O'Leary managed to set up a pretty good en-route-to-Rio shot from IAH.

It's real. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ›«πŸ‡§πŸ‡·

A photo posted by Meghan O'Leary (@meghanoleary1) on

The U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team offered an inside look.

America, We Outtt. @alexmorgan13 πŸ‘­ #roadtorio

A photo posted by Allie Long (@allie_long_) on

Within a few hours, it all became that much more real.

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ touchdown in πŸ‡§πŸ‡· #teamUSA

A photo posted by Kelley O'Hara (@kelleyohara) on

Wish You Were Here

Some athletes, of course, are already in Rio, including perhaps the world's best gymnastics quintet.

We made it!!!! #Rio2016 #PinchUs πŸ™ˆπŸ˜±πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

A photo posted by Alexandra Raisman (@alyraisman) on

And it wasn't long before noted nap enthusiast Aly Raisman logged her first of the Games.

Team USA has also managed to get in some work, of course.

Diver Kassidy Cook checked in from the athletes' village with a creative suite of selfies.

Three-time Olympian Casey Eichfeld surveyed his version of a stream of dreams.

Eichfeld and his crew had an escort to IAH, courtesy Houston PD.

Getting There

If you've ever spent time traveling with a team, from little league baseball tournaments to soccer road trips to camps for gymnastics or hockey or basketball or track and field or swimming, you probably still have memories of the trips. Traveling for Team USA isn't all that different at times — there's still a good deal of generally trying to find interesting ways to fill the downtime.

In this case, it means having a pair of swimmers, with eight Olympic medals between them, work with a violin. Take it away Elizabeth Beisel and Allison Schmitt. Thanks to first-time Olympian Kathleen Baker for capturing the moment.

Prior to taking off for their Rio adventure, all four volleyball teams enjoyed a sendoff in Anaheim, California, which included a trip to the ballpark and a chance for Courtney Thompson to show off her pitching arm.

It should be noted that Team USA does not always travel light, as evidenced by Olympic fencer Dagmara Wozniak's catching teammate and 2012 Opening Ceremony flag bearer Mariel Zagunis behind a mountain of gear.

If you're wondering just how to spot the U.S. Olympic Men's Gymnastics Team, keep an eye out for this 'do.

Guess who else is going to the Games? Tara and Johnny, who will work as broadcasters in Rio. Take a listen below to learn how the dynamic duo met.

Saying Goodbye

Water polo star and five-time Olympian Tony Azevedo has done this before, of course, but it's never easy to leave loved ones.

Missing this guy so much! Great final breakfast though. #fatherson #jamesrepublic

A photo posted by Tony Azevedo (@tonyazevedo8) on

Legends Live On

USA Water Polo's Maggie Steffens is among the very best players in the world (now 23, she scored a tournament-high 21 goals as a 19-year-old in London), and her Olympic dreams, which will continue in Rio, began with a soccer player: legend Mia Hamm.

Deep Pool Of Emojis

What do you get the man who has so much? A fleet of emojis.

Fixing some last minute problems... Should be ready to go soon!!! Keep checking the App Store!!!

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

Because ... Winter

Olympic winter athletes are in training, too, of course. Olympic gold medalist bobsledder Steven Holcomb kicked off the week in style, setting a personal record.

Great way to start the week. A PR in 3x5 back squat at 450lbs. (205kg). And it's only July. @underarmour

A video posted by Steven Holcomb (@stevenholcomb) on

While we're on the topic of bobsledders, California native Carlo Valdes, a former wide receiver and track athlete at UCLA, has long since turned his attention to bobsled. Valdes has teamed up with Holcomb in both world cup and world championship races, but you could find him this week up in Lake Placid, New York, setting his own PR and starring in a video that does a nice job of the kind of strength and speed required to get a bobsled, even a trainer on wheels, out of the gate.

Olympic alpine ski racer Alice McKennis is chasing winter much more literally, and she had to travel more than 20 hours, all the way to New Zealand, to find it.

Olympic champions Julia Mancuso and Mikaela Shiffrin, too …

Yay for sun and snow!! @lalalaurenne @roundhillnz @usskiteam yay!

A photo posted by Julia Mancuso (@juliamancuso) on

He Donut Care

Birthday wishes were in order earlier this week for the first-ever Olympic snowboard slopestyle gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg, who beat the heat the old-fashioned way: in a pool and on a pink frosting donut float.

Happy Anniversary

Congratulations are in order for Olympic ice hockey medalist T.J. Oshie and two-time Olympic gold medalist alpine ski racer Ted Ligety. Not only are they celebrating their anniversaries, but they also managed to recognize the milestone publicly.

Zipping into our second year of marriage.

A photo posted by Ted Ligety (@ted_ligety) on

Related Athletes

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Aly Raisman

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Casey Eichfeld

USA Canoe Kayak
American Canoe
Canoe Slalom
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Elizabeth Beisel

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Allison Schmitt

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Dagmara Wozniak

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Mariel Zagunis

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Tony Azevedo

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Maggie Steffens

Water Polo
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Steven Holcomb

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Carlo Valdes

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T.J. Oshie

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Ted Ligety

Alpine Skiing