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."
'See You In Rio'
Imagine what it must feel like to use that phrase: See you in Rio. After the toils. The workouts. The work. The very literal blood, sweat and tears. To have qualified for the Olympics and to be able to share that salutation with someone who knows roughly what you've achieved before even arriving in Rio. There's so much freighted with those four words. Yes, see you in Rio.
@TeamUSA @Judo_Kayla @USAJudo Congratulations @Judo_Kayla !!!! 🎉🎉— Natalie Hawkins (@NatalieLHawkins) May 30, 2016
Thank you!!!! 🙃😘 see you in Rio! https://t.co/8lQdTp9xrR— Kayla Harrison (@Judo_Kayla) May 30, 2016
When Kayla Harrison does arrive, the defending Olympic champion at 78 kg. will arrive in pretty good shape (courtesy an image posted by one of the nation's top young judokas, A.J. Pedro, whose father Jimmy Pedro was an Olympic bronze medalist in judo and coaches Harrison) ...
Congrats to the day one on her world championship today✊🏻 #gold #notsilver @Judo_Kayla pic.twitter.com/h30vjZkjRR— AJ Pedro (@vote_for_pedroo) May 30, 2016
Harrision, incidentally, is coming off a gold medal at the 2016 World Judo Masters in Guadalajara, Mexico. And she has the headwear to prove it.
@Judo_Kayla wins GOLD at the 2016 Judo World Masters! #judogdl2016 #RoadToRio pic.twitter.com/o98eKKqo1O— USA Judo (@USAJudo) May 29, 2016
Hunter Kemper first started training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, back in 1999, and the triathlete's Team USA career has been consistently impressive since, including seven national championship titles and a remarkable four Olympic Games. Earlier this month, he announced his decision not to pursue a fifth. And while training for a world-class triathlon field may sound like a challenge, how about a road trip that looks like this?
#family #roadtrip #summer #vacation pic.twitter.com/5QhJTYYjfz— Hunter Kemper (@hunterkemper) May 30, 2016
And, yes, if you've spent any significant time road-tripping with your family, there is a lot of ... this:
"I spy with my little eye........nothing. I think we're lost." Hudson, my 5 year old. #arewethereyet #roadtrip pic.twitter.com/qsPiLYIJbg— Hunter Kemper (@hunterkemper) May 30, 2016
As a silver medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Brady Ellison, we know, is an elite archer. How elite? Here's a pretty good look at the accuracy required to qualify for a third Olympic Games:
Remember The Name
This past week at the Prefontaine Classic, Kendra 'Keni' Harrison went out and ran the second-fastest 100-meter hurdles time in history, 12.24 seconds, closing in on a record that's older than she is. Afterward, not only was her reaction priceless, but so, too, were the reactions of her friends, including Trayvon Bromell.
When you wake up the next day and realize setting an American Record wasn't a dream 🙃.— Kendra Harrison (@KeniUSATF) May 29, 2016
What's crazy is I told @KeniUSATF back in indoor season. If she had the perfect weather and good competition, she gone break records ✊🏾— IamTrayvonBromell (@TrayvonBromell) May 29, 2016
Hahaha he's not lying guys he did lol 🙄 https://t.co/iJFIztwCgU— Kendra Harrison (@KeniUSATF) May 29, 2016
Remember This Name, Too
This past Saturday evening against Bolivia in Kansas City, Kansas, Christian Pulisic, at the ripe old age of 17 and 212 days, became the youngest player to score for Team USA. Soccer fans in the United States, with some reason to believe this to be the case, hope this is the first of very many for Pulisic.
Watch 17-year-old @cpulisic_10's first international goal to give the #USMNT a 4-0 lead against Bolivia. #USAvBOLhttps://t.co/6c8BUGqQAb— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) May 29, 2016
As of Friday, Team USA is underway in the Copa América, but not before a field trip to a social media mecca for Team USA veteran midfielder Jermaine Jones, Pulisic, Matt Besler, Ethan Horvath and Alejandro Bedoya.
Stopped by today at the office of @instagram and @facebook with these folks pic.twitter.com/5GKcZj5W6y— Jermaine Jones (@Jermainejunior) June 2, 2016
Jones and company also had a chance to take in one of the week's most anticipated sporting events: Game 7, Western Conference Finals, Thunder vs. Warriors, at Golden State.
Speaking of the National Basketball Association ... The NBA Finals are underway, which for many means virtually gathering 'round social media and taking their best shots at providing commentary. Considering their own vocational proximity to winning and losing and all that goes into aiming to become the very best in the world, Team USA athletes are particularly tuned in to what's going on in the mind of the athletes on the biggest stage. During a lopsided Game 1, much of the armchair analyzing stemmed from the bench play of the Golden State Warriors.
Warriors Bench Mob out there gettin busy... Let's see what in game adjustments Coach Ty does down the stretch..— Swin Cash (@SwinCash) June 3, 2016
Still saying Cavs in 6 !!— Brittney Reese (@DaLJBeast) June 3, 2016
Wow, the Cavs are really getting beat by the @warriors bench players #GSWvCLE #NBAFinals— Lex Gillette (@LexGillette) June 3, 2016
I feel like the Warriors bench would make the playoffs— andyroddick (@andyroddick) June 3, 2016
Memorial Day Salute
When it comes to Team USA, Memorial Day offers an opportunity to honor the holiday. Dozens posted respectful messages, including a small sampling below from skeleton athlete Stephen Garbett, bobsledders Sam Michener and Dakarai Kongela, swimmers Michael Phelps and Allison Schmitt, soccer players Maurice Edu and Charlie Davies, Paralympic swimmer Michelle Konkoly, soccer players Sydney Leroux Dwyer and Mia Hamm, decathlete Trey Hardee, water polo player Maggie Steffens and figure skater Ashley Wagner.
Today we honor the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect this great country! @TeamUSA pic.twitter.com/1niBtyxuPH— Stephen Garbett (@garbett_stephen) May 30, 2016
Thank you to all the brave men and woman who have served our country. Happy Memorial Day! 🇺🇸— Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) May 30, 2016
Thank you to all the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. We are forever grateful.— Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm) May 30, 2016
Thankful for those who gave all they could so that we could have. In memoriam. 🇺🇸— trey hardee (@treyhardee) May 30, 2016
Land of the free BECAUSE of the brave. You will always be our true heroes. Thank you forever and always #MemorialDay2016— Maggie Steffens (@maggiesteffens) May 30, 2016
Growing up an army brat, the military had a huge impact on my life. I remember my Dad being shipped off and never really knowing when he would come back. So thankful for all that these brave men and women do to serve our country. We solute all who have chosen to serve and sacrifice, thank you! Happy Memorial Day everyone!
By All Means, Dab
Perhaps dabbing really has worn out its welcome in sports, but, as Paralympic sprinting hopeful Scout Bassett points out, there's a time and place for everything.
Dabbing isn’t cool anymore, but we didn’t care on a wkd of 3 PRs and 2 NEW American Records!! #NoDoneYet #RoadToRio pic.twitter.com/mkSKLu2GNI— Scout Bassett (@ScoutBassett) May 30, 2016
Start Your Engines
The love story that is Olympic champion gymnast Shawn Johnson and Andrew East has been well chronicled (and, considering the pair's penchant for posting entertaining videos and adorable pics, that is likely to continue), so it seems only appropriate to catch up with them in Indy.
About had a heartattack straining so hard for my fellow @dancingabc alum @heliocastroneves #indy500 #winnerinmybook pic.twitter.com/8MrArnZ4o6— Shawn Johnson East (@ShawnJohnson) May 30, 2016
Olympic gold medalist diver David Boudia also enjoyed the 100th running of the iconic Indy 500, and he did so from an impressive vantage point.
Trip Of A Lifetime
While the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team has enjoyed quite a week, it would be hard to top the week of Ariana Kukors. The 2012 Olympian and one-time 200-meter IM world-record holder jetted off to Europe during the last week of May, saying bon jour to a sweeping view of Paris, visiting the "breathtaking" Eiffel Tower and going to the French Open:
LOVED watching @Shelby_Rogers_ get the upset today at the #FrenchOpen 🎾 @marclucero #GoUSA pic.twitter.com/QpB6aXohTM— Ariana Kukors (@ArianaKukors) May 27, 2016
Oh, and there was this ...
Paris, you were unforgettable in so many ways ❤️ #isaidYES 💍 pic.twitter.com/Rgg091HqoV— Ariana Kukors (@ArianaKukors) May 29, 2016
... Followed by trips through Venice and Florence.
Sometimes, Olympic gold medalist and slalom skiing star Mikaela Shiffrin is going to dance. And, when she does, she just might wind up with more than 100,000 views of the aforementioned dancing.
Shiffrin is also getting more and more comfortable with the piano.
Olympic champion decathlete Bryan Clay not only won gold in 2008 (by a wide margin, no less), but he also earned silver at the Athens Games in 2004, as well as gold at the 2005 world championships. Add to that four appearances in the heptathalon at the indoor worlds, along with a number of other events for which he trained, and you might understand how this happens ...
Considering that she qualified for Rio only this past week, Olympic BMX racer Alise Post has the next few months of her life pretty well scheduled out through the Games. Perhaps afterward, though, she can look to a second career as a DIY'er. Her hidden talents were recently revealed in a TV feature shot by a station from her native Minnesota.