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Red, White & Trending: June 3-9

By Jamie MacDonald | June 10, 2016, 3:01 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."

RIP, Champ

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."

God came for his champion. So long great one. #muhammadali #GOAT #RIP

A photo posted by Mike Tyson (@miketyson) on

RIP ALI "don't count the days make the days count" #confidence #greatness #believe #legend #worldchanger

A photo posted by Steven Nyman (@steven_nyman) on

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 ...

... And then she went out and won the all-around, vault and floor. Have a look at her crowd-pleasing flour routine here:

Go Nuts

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.

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.

Love my giant bestie #nationalbestfriendday #takemebacktoitaly #gelatoandpizzaeveryday #quinnpartyof3

A photo posted by Alicia (Sacramone) Quinn (@asaq_3) on

#NationalBestFriendsDay doing what we do best, choreographing lame dances in traffic πŸ˜‚ @carlycgold

A video posted by Gracie Gold (@graciegold95) on

Perhaps winning the category, though, was Olympic gold medalist and National Soccer Hall of Famer Michelle Akers.

Majestic Flight

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.

She and partner Emily Day have arrived in Hamburg, Germany, by the way, where they will compete in the final tournament for Olympic qualification.

Came across this church while strolling the streets of Hamburg. #travel #olderthanmostofamerica

A photo posted by Emily Day (@emday6) on

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.

It looks like we made the big time @carlilloyd 😊⭐️✨ @united has us everywhere πŸ›¬βœˆοΈπŸ›«

A photo posted by Kerri Walsh Jennings (@kerrileewalsh) on

Stolen Gold

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 ...

Boomer says what's up y'all!!! @nicole.m.johnson

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

Nicole Johnson sized up the next generation ...

Just testing out my wingspan πŸ’™ @m_phelps00 @coach_bowman #boomerphelps

A photo posted by Nicole Michele Johnson (@nicole.m.johnson) on

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.

#SkatingSkills ... Kinda loving these rental #Hockey skates. Thank you @sunvalley for an exceptional weekend!

A video posted by Jeremy Abbott (@idreamofjeremy) on

Field Trips

You know who's been having fun this week? The U.S. Men's Paralympic National Soccer Team. Bowling, cookery, spelling bees ...

Taper Time

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.

Back in LA till Olympic Trials! #AlmostTaperTime

A photo posted by Conor Dwyer (@conorjdwyer) on

Two-time Olympian and medalist Elizabeth Beisel has a taper tip ...

Medal Models

Who wore it best? Though it's hard to argue with a Paralympic triple threat's back muscles, right Alana Nichols?

Father's Day

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.

Pregame ...

Gametime ...

Ending On A High Note

Three-time Olympian and Rio hopeful high jumper Chaunte Lowe is putting in the effort ...

Related Athletes

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Aly Raisman

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Steve Langton

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Jennifer Kessy

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Kerri Walsh Jennings

Beach Volleyball
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Anne Schleper

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Michael Phelps

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Jeremy Abbott

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Alana Nichols

Alpine Skiing
Wheelchair Basketball
US Paralympics
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Bobby Ryan

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Chaunté Lowe