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."
To kick off the month of March, multi-medal gymnastics favorite Simone Biles worked out on a new apparatus. And it was impressive.
conditioning for the day 😛⛅️✨ pic.twitter.com/jPDkWQ657p— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) March 2, 2016
Get Well Soon
Just how tough is Lindsey Vonn? Incredibly. If you follow her on social media, you've seen the severe bruising of her injured ankle, which didn't keep her from working out with a boot 27 weeks ago, or the stitches in her thumb 16 weeks ago along with the grueling workout shots, of course. This past week, she added a new feat of strength.
While she had her knee drained (and posted a video not for the squeamish of the process) after a crash left her with a fracture in her knee, she raced. The next day.
Got caught in the soft snow today and crashed pretty hard. X-rays showed I have a hairline fracture in my left knee and will get an MRI Monday. I will wait and see how I feel tomorrow to decide if I can race. Will keep u updated. Thx for all of the support and well wishes. Means a lot! Also congrats to my teammate @lalalaurenne on 2nd place today!
Unfortunately, the MRI showed more damage than had been discovered with X-rays, and the skiing legend made the difficult decision to end her season, an announcement she made via social media.
Today I am making the difficult decision to end my season and leave the World Cup circuit due to an injury I suffered last Saturday. Because I am currently leading the Overall World Cup standings, this is one of the toughest decisions of my career. When I crashed on Saturday in Andorra, I fractured my tibial plateau. The traditional X-rays that were taken that afternoon showed a hairline fracture, but the tibial plateau appeared to be stable and did not pose significant risk to competing. So I raced on Sunday. After the Super Combined on Sunday, I went to Barcelona where more precise MRI and CT equipment was available and scans were performed on Tuesday morning. Those images showed that there was not just 1 hairline fracture, but in fact 3. And the fractures are not hairline, but instead they are significant enough that they are not sufficiently stable to permit me to safely continue skiing. Further damage any of the fragments could result in a serious surgery that would risk my future in ski racing. With the World Championships in St. Moritz next year and the Winter Olympics in South Korea the following year, I cannot take that risk. So I have made the decision to end my season. I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish this year: 9 World Cup victories, breaking the World Cup downhill win record, breaking the World Cup Super G podium record, and winning the most World Cup discipline titles--20--of any skier, male or female. While I am confident that I'm making the right decision, it still doesn't make this decision any easier. Thanks to everyone who supported me and stood by me through it all. Best of luck to all the World Cup competitors. I'll see you again next year. Xo LV
So many of Team USA's athletes aim to harness the power of their fame for good, and Paralympic medalist Amy Purdy has helped Beau with a priceless gift. Purdy first introduced us to Beau this past summer, and passed along an updated to show off the new blades this past fall. In turn, Beau, in a video Purdy posted this past week, gives us the priceless gift of his joy at a dream come true.
Swift And Fast
Team USA bobsled athlete Sam Michener is a man of range. He dropped out of medical school to chase an Olympic dream to PyeongChang in the often tough-guy sport of bobsled, and the 5-foot-9, 205-pounder occasionally, as we learn thanks to two-time Olympic bobsledder Nick Cunningham, channels Taylor Swift to get himself fired up.
That moment you catch @sammichener blowing the speakers to @taylorswift13. Last #WorldCup #Bobsled race tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/0jZ90q9IXW— Nick Cunningham (@BOBSLEDR) February 27, 2016
Ready For Rio?
You know who really has an appreciation for the best in the world? The best in the world. There's no way of knowing what might happen with the men's basketball competition in Rio, but, should it come down to long-range shooting, Team USA will likely have someone who has put himself in the conversation as one of the best distance shooters in basketball history: Stephen Curry. Curry was at it again this past weekend, on a balky left ankle, no less, draining an overtime game-winner from an absurd 38 or so feet away. It looked and sounded like this for the defending NBA MVP, who would be appearing on his first Olympic team if he makes it to Rio:
The above video, which also captures Curry's setting of the NBA record for most 3-pointers in a season, earned more than 190,000 likes, and drove a number of Team USA athletes to their timelines in immediate appreciation. To wit, a sampling of posts within two minutes of the above game-winner.
Olympic medalist and Chicago Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler:
Steph Curry is the best!! @NBA— Dexter Fowler (@DexterFowler) February 28, 2016
Olympic gold medalist basketball player Rebecca Lobo:
Steph.— Rebecca Lobo (@RebeccaLobo) February 28, 2016
Pan American Games gold medalist swimmer Giles Smith:
Steph too cold— Giles Smith (@GilesSmith43) February 28, 2016
Olympic medalist fencer Tim Morehouse:
Stephen Curry is on another level. There aren’t even words to describe how good he is playing right now.— TimMorehouse (@TimMorehouse) February 28, 2016
Olympic water polo gold medalist Maggie Steffens:
Warriors!!!!!!! Let's goo!!!!! Splash!!!!! #DubNation @andre with clutch regulations and @StephenCurry30 on FUEGO!! #clutch @warriors— Maggie Steffens (@maggiesteffens) February 28, 2016
Olympic short track speedskating medalist Travis Jayner:
Steph Curry is not from this planet! #nba #kingcurry #warriors #wow— Travis Jayner (@travisjayner) February 28, 2016
Evelyn Stevens did it. Later calling it a "ton of suffering," the Olympic road cyclist set out to set the "Hour Record," and she wound up traveling on a velodrome in Colorado Springs 47.980 kilometers in 60 minutes. And if you don't know Stevens' backstory, it's as interesting as this little-known record. Still only 32, Stevens is a California-born, Massachusetts-raised, Dartmouth-educated sister to four siblings who was once working on the analyst floor at a New York investment firm. A bike clinic at Central Park in 2008 turned her career away from New York banking and toward cycling … and the record books.
So, what does one do after putting herself through an hour of physically draining exercise? Why, dance, of course.
.@evelyn_stevens doing her happy dance after shattering the #UCIHourRecord. EXPRESS YOURSELF! pic.twitter.com/nif9dHpImu— Brett Baker (@bbaker) February 28, 2016
For maximum cuteness, there was also this outstanding interview with her coach's 9-year-old daughter.
Kudos to U.S. Soccer for an epic unveiling of its new brand. Rave reviews followed, as did the payoff on a genius idea to let the country's greatest advocates in the sport — its famous players and fans — join in on the fun.
Loving the new crest ! Thank you @ussoccer for the gift. #OneNationOneTeam pic.twitter.com/qLkCZAgM5s— Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm) March 1, 2016
The next generation #USMNT and I with the new crest. We will both be proud to wear it! #OneNationOneTeam @ussoccer pic.twitter.com/gLx9jmhdTC— brad guzan (@bguzan) February 29, 2016
New #USMNT crest! #OneNationOneTeam pic.twitter.com/ykVTFNDEG1— Kyle Beckerman (@KyleBeckerman) February 29, 2016
U.S. Soccer also debuted a video that tells the story of its new typeface that's worth watching for designers and the font geeks among us:
Speaking Of Soccer
The U.S. Women's National Team was back in action Thursday night, this time in Tampa, Florida, where Team USA topped England, 1-0, in front of more than 13,000 fans. For a glimpse into what sacrifices are made by the dedicated athletes who are almost travelers first and athletes second, have a look at star forward Alex Morgan squeezing out a few last-minute moments with her dog before heading to Florida.
Going to miss this lil guy when I head out to meet #USWNT in Tampa. #mommasboy pic.twitter.com/4NILCpDuM8— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) February 28, 2016
The 88th Academy Awards may not have done a blockbuster rating, but Team USA was watching, and at least two athletes deserved recognition.
For The Most Informed Team USA Academy Awards Broadcast Watcher, the Oscar goes to … Rio hopeful triathlete (and recent deja vu victim) Erin Jones …
Who has watched all the movies nominated for the Oscars?! 🙋🏻 Guilty! #PreparedForTheOscars #Oscar2016 #ALotOfTrainerRides— Erin Jones (@erinjonestri) February 28, 2016
For Achievement In Live Tweeting The Academy Awards, the Oscar goes to … Olympic bronze medalist figure skater Ashley Wagner, who managed to overcome technical difficulties in lobbing out more than 40 tweets over the course of the broadcast. There were funny tweets, there were poignant tweets, there were complimentary tweets, there were more funny tweets, and there was this pithy observation:
The Revenant just looks stressful— Ashley Wagner (@AshWagner2010) February 29, 2016
Family That Swims Together…
Last week, Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt thanked longtime friend and Olympic legend Michael Phelps and his fiancee for letting her play the role of third wheel. This week the family of three — soon to be four — said hello from Arizona.
One of the very fastest men in the world, Justin Gatlin, recently sat down long enough to explain the meaning of his tattoos. So, when you see him blazing through 100-meter races, you'll know he wears some of what drives him in ink.
Meaning of my tats https://t.co/r5SOKnKvTu— J GAT (@justingatlin) February 28, 2016