By Jamie MacDonald | Nov. 04, 2016, 4:41 p.m. (ET)

What are Team USA athletes — Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls — 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."


Fall Classic

In a testament to the collective competitive spirit of Team USA, Paralympic and Olympic athletes — and their loved ones (more on that later) — were glued to the Wednesday night drama of a deciding Game 7 in the World Series. By the time the game ended, well after midnight on the East Coast, seven of Twitter’s United States trends related to the grand finale between the long-suffering Cubs and Indians. And Team USA timelines were alive with the crackling, back-and-forth momentum shifts that ultimately led to the breaking of a 108-year World Series drought for the Cubs and their fans.

Things started rather quietly.

Late in the game, though, as those momentum shifts came in the form of pitching changes and surprise home runs, seats started getting as uncomfortable as leads. How about this barrage, all from within two minutes, after the Indians tied the game after 11 p.m. ET?

At that point it was time to buckle up to see how things would play out.

With each batter, the tension escalated. Tighter and tighter, in a way to which so many Team USA athletes can relate …

Particularly interested — and stressed, of course — were the fans of the teams.

For good measure, nearly as the clock struck midnight, the skies opened up to force a rain delay … the collective groan of timelines across the country.

OK, Team USA, we can make it through this, right?

The home stretch was a real-time thing of Twitter beauty …

At long last, nearing 1 a.m. in the east and midnight in Chicago, where a very heavy page finally could be turned, the Windy City had its title.


I Was There

At least a few fans with Team USA ties made it to Cleveland for the classic, including Olympic gold medalist swimmer Conor Dwyer, who was born in Evanston, Illinois.

Also in the house: Andrew East, who wove a number of Cubs themes through his engagement and wedding to Olympic champion gymnast Shawn Johnson.

Noted Ohioan and Indians fan, three-time Olympian LeBron James later offered “much respect” to both teams …


Oh, Yes, And … This

You know who else had a pretty good seat for the celebration? Cubs outfielder and 2008 Olympic baseball star Dexter Fowler — who also just happened to lead off Wednesday night’s game with a home run. And how’s this for an accessory?

2016 World Champs!

A photo posted by Dexter Fowler (@dexterfowler) on

Fellow 2008 Olympian, pitcher Jake Arrieta also had more than a little to do with the World Series win, as the righty earned two of the Cubs' four wins in the seven-game series. Thanks to his wife, we have a few lasting memories from a very long Wednesday night.


Timing Is Everything

Unfortunately for the CMAs, the award show just happened to run up against Game 7. Two-time Olympic water polo gold medalist KK Clark summed it up thusly:

Though it appears Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller was flipping channels.

On the other hand, the Final Five very likely missed the baseball action. The Olympic champion gymnasts had a pretty good excuse.


The Top Five

Though the candy may all have been put away and the pumpkins are beginning to show their signs of aging, Halloween made yet another significant impact on Team USA timelines. Our top five posts have as much to do with these athletes’ lives as they do with their relationship to Halloween …

It's almost that time .... ๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ’€๐ŸŽƒ #TeamJennings about to roll out ๐Ÿ‘Š

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


Hall Call

Add yet another honor to the remarkable career of five-time Olympic swimmer Dara Torres. This past week, she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale.


Fighting On

For Australian Olympic BMX silver medalist Sam Willoughby, walking again is no guarantee. But he has his heart set on walking next April when he marries Team USA’s Alise Post, who won her own silver medal in BMX at the Rio Games. Willoughby, injured while training this past September, while notable for his BMX career, is also responsible for one of the great Team USA proposals, when he surprised Post in San Diego. For his part, Willoughby, who sustained significant spinal damage, is fighting for his recovery.


Hanging Around

“It was miserable the last few minutes,” said two-time Olympic gymnast Jonathan Horton during his road to recovery from surgery on his left shoulder, summing up the kind of work so many elite athletes endure while the lights aren’t shining so bright. Horton, at the time of his injury this past February, said he was not ready to retire. Checking in on Horton, we see an athlete willing to work to the point of “miserable the last few minutes” to claw his way back to competitive gymnastics.



Purdy’s Recovery Continues

Amy Purdy is going home. After a severe reaction during an especially grueling workout session, the Paralympic snowboarding star and inspirational speaker has been released from the hospital. But not before sporting a Halloween-friendly look.

Look who is out of the hospital! The Dr's and nurses were amazing but I couldn't be happier to get the IV's out and head home! What a crazy experience all this has been. I was so strong up until last Saturday, now I can barely move my arms without fatigue. Last week was supposed to be the first week of on snow training leading into the 2018 Olympic/Paralympic Games, so while my teammates and competitors are neck deep in training, I'm going to be neck deep in healing. The recovery on this is supposed to take some time since the muscle fibers in both upper arms were damaged. But all of this is minor compared to what it could have been! My journey to the next Games may have taken a bit of a step back but sometimes that's what you need for a major comeback! I'm anxious to move on to this recovery stage and also rethink my approach to fitness, health and wellness. There is no need to injure ourselves getting stronger, I'm determined to being healthier then ever but by taking a more gentle path and to be honest, I hated pull-ups anyways! . Thank you to everyone for your โค๏ธ and support and thank you to @coppermtn for these gorgeous flowers! ๐ŸŒบ #headedhome #rhabdosucks #gratitude #roadtorecovery โœจโœจโœจโœจโœจโœจโœจโœจโœจโœจโœจโœจโœจโœจโœจโœจ

A photo posted by Amy Purdy (@amypurdygurl) on

For Purdy, though, the road is still not entirely without some hurdles.

Today, I actually brushed my hair and put a little lipgloss on! Yay! Then, I met with Dr Hackett and a sports medicine team to get more insight on my recovery. This #rhabdo has been a really scary thing because it's considered a severe injury at the cellular level and both of my arms were effected, although the left one seems to have taken a bit more of the hit. We are also still doing blood tests every other day to monitor my kidneys function while it deals with all of this. I still can't get over how simply it all happened.. doing pull-ups ?? Really?! That being said the pain and cramping is improving daily and obviously that's a great thing! What I have found interesting about Rhabdo is there is a lot of info about it online, but there is little to no info on the recovery and how to recover proper. I guess that's why I'm so open to sharing my story. So, today I finally got a little game plan! I have a few more weeks of rest where I can basically move my arms and joints and that's it. Then after a few weeks I will begin a light resistance routine to help strengthen the muscle fibers that were damaged ... which means I won't be competing in the first World Cup of the season which takes place in two weeks in Europe. I'm bummed of course... But hey maybe it's the universe telling me to go lay on a beach somewhere instead?! ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒด ๐Ÿ˜Ž#ROAD2RECOVERY #DRHackett @coalheadwear

A photo posted by Amy Purdy (@amypurdygurl) on


More To Explore

When it comes to traveling, you know who doesn’t kid around? Two-time Olympic decathlon champion and world-record holder Ashton Eaton and his wife, Canadian heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton. No big deal, just climbing up a nearly vertical rock face in Peru.

Olympic champion sprinter DeeDee Trotter has an impressive trip of her own in progress, too. Trotter is in Bali, playing and working.

And where in the United States is Olympic swimming gold medalist Tyler Clary? Through Nov. 13, he’ll be in California, racking up yet more miles on what is essentially a circumnavigation of the country.

Seven weeks ago, he posted the route, which is pretty impressive for its sheer mileage:

He’s checked in from a number of locations, including New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New England, Ohio, Michigan, North Dakota, Montana and Seattle, but he’s finally made it from the right coast to the left coast.

We've officially made it all the way across the country, from the Atlantic and now to the Pacific!

A photo posted by Tyler Clary (@tylerclary) on


Wedding Bells

Two of the most accomplished athletes in their sports hit the headlines this week for their marriages, one in the books and one upcoming. In the case of Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps, that meant walking down the aisle publicly. It also meant some fun.

My best friend.... I love you!!

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

Who pulled off #mp better @stuttsydlc or me? @romanstutts

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

In the case of perhaps the best women’s soccer player in the world, Carli Lloyd is off to get hitched to fiancé Brian Hollins.

๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’— @kasweet328 @kathsweet #headoverhollins

A photo posted by Carli Lloyd (@carlilloyd) on

๐Ÿ‘ฐ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ– #HeadOverHollins

A photo posted by Carli Lloyd (@carlilloyd) on