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Red, White & Trending: June 10-16

By Jamie MacDonald | June 17, 2016, 7:17 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."

Golden Moments

If you hadn't yet heard, Rio 2016 earlier this week revealed the medals for the upcoming Games. Not surprisingly, they're individual works of art. Also not surprising, Olympic gold medalist middleweight boxing legend-in-the-making Claressa Shields only has her eye on one of them.


Hello, Seattle. After jet-setting from Miami for training, to Chicago and Philadelphia for Copa America results to finish atop their group, Team USA headed west, to The Emerald City for quarterfinal matchup against Ecuador. And in a city known most recently for its Super Bowl caliber football teams, here is one excellent touchdown pass a few days before the Thursday match.

Team USA also had more than a little fun on their off-days in the Pacific Northwest, including just kickin' it and going long with the Seahawks.

Oh, yes. There was also a Pike Place visit that involved Seattle-born DeAndre Yedlin ‏making a fresh catch.

Cup Runneth Over

Even as a young teenager, well before the day he was the fifth player taken in the 2006 National Hockey League draft, Olympic ice hockey forward Phil Kessel's star was on the rise. He set records on the international stage, dangled through opponents and dazzled scouts. The Wisconsin native also recorded a standout season at the University of Minnesota, but his professional career had a rocky beginning, both on and off the ice.

Diagnosed with testicular cancer in December of 2006, he underwent surgery and then won the 2007 Masterston Trophy and return to hockey. Unfortunately, throughout stops in Boston and Toronto, even while producing points and scoring at an occasionally electrifying rate, he was often maligned in both big-market towns before landing with the Penguins ...

... for whom he won a Stanley Cup earlier this week.

You better believe this felt good:

All Kessel did was lead the Penguins, a team with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, in playoff scoring with 22 points en route to a measure of redemption.

His sister, Olympic women's ice hockey star Amanda Kessel shared in the fun, too.

Just Desserts

During television coverage of the 2016 ITU World Triathlon in Leeds, England, Al Trautwig pointed out that the first chase group had closed a gap behind the lead group to under 1:30 by the transition from the bike to the run. And it was in that chase pack, a full 94 seconds back, that 2012 Olympic triathlete Gwen Jorgensen began perhaps the greatest comeback win in World Triathlon Series history.

"That's still very, very large," Trautwig said of the deficit.

Within minutes, Jorgensen had run well out in front of the chase pack and could turn her attention to breaking down what was left of the lead.

"It's going to be one of the great comebacks in the sport," Trautwig said as it became clear that her long, smooth strides were going to carry her past the race leaders in time for what would turn out to be a comfortable win that saw her calmly wait at the finish line to clap for her fellow podium finishers.

After the win, Jorgensen tweeted she was "Thrilled to come away with the win." She may have been just as thrilled with the spoils of such a win.

Soon, though, Jorgensen and her husband were off again.

It's A Girl

For Olympic champ Jordan Burroughs, Baby No. 2 is a girl. Ora Reece Burroughs, all 7 pounds, 14 ounces and 19.5 inches of her came into the world this past weekend, and it didn't take the defending Olympic wrestling champion to get adorable on us.

Fleet, Afoot

While Rio is on the 50-day horizon, U.S. Olympic Team Trials are looming for Team USA's track stars in July. During the run-up to managing a program that will hopefully have her peak in Rio, Olympic champion and multiple-medal threat Allyson Felix has taken her training to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, where she arrived in style ...

Short Strokes

Swimmer Jessica Hardy has won Olympic gold swimming at the 100-meter distance and world championship gold at 50 meters, but she has a new favorite distance, one that shows off a snippet of the speed, power and precision required as an elite swimmer.

My new favorite event: 15m sprints 😜

A video posted by Jessica Hardy (@swimhardy) on

Open Season

Despite some soggy conditions that ended play early (only nine players finished their rounds) on Day 1, the U.S. Open is underway. This weekend at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania, four Team USA golfers are in the running for Rio. Among them: Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson, who offered a stars-and-stripes sartorial preview of his opening round socks.

Waking up Friday morning, Watson had made it through 14 holes at -2 (Spieth was at +1 after 11, Fowler was at +6 through 12 and Johnson had not completed a hole).

Ain't Easy Being Green

Olympic gold medalist swimmer Summer Sanders, who only a few days earlier could be seen escaping from Alcatraz (sort of), has turned her attention to a more leisurely pursuit.

#frog races at the #duderanch #summervacation #kid #fun

A photo posted by Summer Sanders (@summersanders_) on

Another Escapee

Katie Zaferes, who qualified for Rio in triathlon, also suited up for the Escape Alcatraz event, finishing with a priceless finish line photo op.

Need For Speed, Too

Tyler Clary is one of the fastest swimmers in the world, but open-wheel race cars are a hair faster. And make no mistake: The Olympian and Rio hopeful dreams of racing cars. For the time being, he'll have to settle for the next best thing.

The Beast is back online, just in time for taper. #simracing #simulator #iracing #openwheel #formularenault #imola

A photo posted by Tyler Clary (@tylerclary) on

This, by the way, is a "before" image that preceded the rebuild:

And ... Scene

Aly Dudek is at it again. The Olympic short track speedskating medalist is on the road in a fabulously outdoorsy location and posting it for her fans. This time, it's the snowcapped Grand Tetons.

Trying to be one with nature 🌻#flowerchild #neverstopexploring #hikeitout #tetons

A photo posted by Aly Dudek (@alydudek) on

Parting Shots

It's not summer everywhere is it, Sage Kotsenburg? The Olympic gold medalist snowboarder has found himself some winter.

Olympic cross-country skier Sadie Bjornsen also found more than her share of winter, courtesy Alaska's Eagle Glacier.

Related Athletes

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Claressa Shields

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Phil Kessel

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Gwen Jorgensen

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Bubba Watson

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Tyler Clary

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Alyson Dudek