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."
The world lost a champion this week when Muhammad Ali passed away at the age of 74. Ali was a champion in the ring and a champion of causes — some unpopular — out of it, and he spent much of his life being larger than life itself. None of this was lost on so many Team USA athletes who felt as if they truly owed a part of their success to "The Greatest."
I remember Muhammad Ali calling me and telling me to meet him in Chicago. He told me that he wanted me to be more than a basketball player.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 4, 2016
He wanted me to use my platform affect change in the inner cities of America and that's when I built my company and foundation...— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 4, 2016
...to put people to work, send kids to college, address social injustice and fight for those who were being discriminated against...— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 4, 2016
...because of the color of their skin.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 4, 2016
I will always be indebted to my friend Muhammad Ali!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 4, 2016
He would always say he was the real "Magic Man" because I didn't know how to do any tricks!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 4, 2016
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life-- Muhammad Ali. #RIPAli— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) June 4, 2016
He shook up the world, and the world's better for it. Rest in peace, Champ. pic.twitter.com/z1yM3sSLH3— President Obama (@POTUS) June 4, 2016
Secret To Her Success
At some point on Saturday morning, two-time Olympic champion gymnast Aly Raisman's thoughts turned to dressing for success. In this case, dressing for success included her makeup. Prompted by a fan wondering what color eyeliner she would be going with for the Secret Classic in Hartford, Connecticut, Raisman responded ...
Haha I have nude and baby blue eyeliner! 😘 and soft red lip 💋 https://t.co/8fGmlvVZUe— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) June 4, 2016
... And then she went out and won the all-around, vault and floor. Have a look at her crowd-pleasing flour routine here:
There was a time when two-time Olympic medalist and world champion bobsledder Steve Langton says he could have used a donut, back during his days as a 16-year-old high school athlete. Too bad we didn't have social media in those days to let us know about hashtag holidays such as #NationalDonutDay.
It's #NationalDonutDay. You know what to do, people.— Steven Langton (@StevenLangton) June 3, 2016
It should be National Donut Week because one day just isn't long enough. 😕— Steven Langton (@StevenLangton) June 4, 2016
Paralympic star and 2014 snowboard cross medalist Amy Purdy could have used another chance following her unique #NationalDonutDay #Fail.
Best Of Friends (Day)
Donut Day wasn't the only hashtag holiday this past week, either. We also had internet excellence in the form of #NationalBestFriendDay, and Team USA did not disappoint.
Perhaps winning the category, though, was Olympic gold medalist and National Soccer Hall of Famer Michelle Akers.
Congratulations are in order for Lacey Henderson, the Paralympic hopeful and cancer survivor whose leg was amputated when she was 9 years old. Henderson, under the great Twitter handle of @lacesyourfriend, posted the almost mesmerizing video of a new personal best. Henderson, who finished second in the long jump and third in the 100-meter at the 2016 Desert Challenge this past May, is headed in the right direction. At the event in Tempe, Arizona, she long-jumped 3.48 meters, and has 4 meters in her sights.
On The Road Again
The "glamorous" life of a career athlete does come with dozens of drawbacks. Among them is leaving loved ones behind for days or weeks at a time. In the case of Olympic silver medalist beach volleyball player Jennifer Kessy, it means leaving behind this little spitfire.
Leaving my #family again for a week. I know I'm a #workingmom but the #momguilt is real. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a big enough influence on her. Then I see this pic and that's all me. She got my crazy loud #bellylaugh #blessing and a #curse Thanks to my hubby and mom for taking over while I'm gone. See you in week my loves
She and partner Emily Day have arrived in Hamburg, Germany, by the way, where they will compete in the final tournament for Olympic qualification.
On their way across the pond, fellow beach star and three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings caught not only her flight, but also her reflection, of sorts, in the airport.
Olympic medals are more than gold, of course. In some ways, they're magical. They transport athletes back in time. They captivate audiences. They're priceless. Two-time Olympic canoeist Joe Jacobi knows this, and he kept his with him where he went — to display, to share and to inspire. Earlier this week, his generosity, so very unfortunately, ended badly when a bag was stolen from his car while he was dining with his family at an Atlanta restaurant.
Jacobi's wife Lisa posted an update later in the day, but, still, no found medal. Just a lot of goodwill from the thousands who began to follow the story via social media.
Since, the Jacobis, have added a reward.
This past week, members of the U.S. Women's Ice Hockey Team headed out to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for an off-ice training camp. In addition to countless weighted pull-ups, some brilliant mountain sunsets behind the Rocky Mountain's Front Range and a bevy of team workouts, the group also had the opportunity of a lifetime.
Olympic medalist Anne Schleper added a personal note ...
Checking in with Olympic swimming legend and new dad Michael Phelps ...
Nicole Johnson sized up the next generation ...
It's A Rental
Hockey skates are not figure skates. In fact, other than the fact both help people get around on the ice, they're very different instruments. Which makes the fact that Olympic bronze medalist figure skater Jeremy Abbott can get around the ice with such skill and grace all that more an impressive ... feat. And on rentals, no less.
You know who's been having fun this week? The U.S. Men's Paralympic National Soccer Team. Bowling, cookery, spelling bees ...
Thanks to a 400-meter freestyle win and a second-place finish in the 200-meter free, Olympic medalist swimmer Conor Dwyer wrapped up an Arena Pro Swim Series title, with fellow Olympian Nathan Adrian, who won the 50-meter free. For Dwyer, he'll be in Los Angeles until the Olympic Trials, which will run from June 26-July 3 in Omaha, Nebraska. Until then, it's nearly taper time.
Two-time Olympian and medalist Elizabeth Beisel has a taper tip ...
Taper tip #1 : enjoy your morning tea with a view like this. pic.twitter.com/rxGwXxHD8b— Elizabeth Beisel ⚓ (@ebeisel34) June 9, 2016
Who wore it best? Though it's hard to argue with a Paralympic triple threat's back muscles, right Alana Nichols?
Olympic ice hockey player Bobby Ryan's initiation into fatherhood came with a significant wait time: 30 hours. But, of course, the result was more than worth that wait for the 2005 No. 2 overall NHL draft pick. Even if it rattled him a bit. Note that a pair of the softest hands in the hockey world flubbed one of the more momentous tweets he'll ever send. And he recovered nicely.
Suns risin over the Grand! From the hospital waiting room! Baby Ryan has us on her time already. 3am wake up call. pic.twitter.com/rOD57Wug00— Bobby Ryan (@b_ryan9) June 5, 2016
Baby watch is going to last well into tomorrow I'm told. And I'm also thinking about A/C, bed, and possibly crying in the shower. So tired!— Bobby Ryan (@b_ryan9) June 5, 2016
#gotime bringing this little girl in the world today!— Bobby Ryan (@b_ryan9) June 6, 2016
Riley Ann Riley... 1134am. Absolutely breathtaking. She's never dating... Ever!— Bobby Ryan (@b_ryan9) June 6, 2016
Riley Ann Ryan!! Still shaking. Sorry!— Bobby Ryan (@b_ryan9) June 6, 2016
Over 30 hours of waiting but this moment alone made it worth it. pic.twitter.com/umPxPTMwxI— Bobby Ryan (@b_ryan9) June 6, 2016
Ending On A High Note
Three-time Olympian and Rio hopeful high jumper Chaunte Lowe is putting in the effort ...