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."
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.
You should all know the last time the @Cubs won the series was the year Henry Ford introduced the Model T. It cost $825. TNKS and BAI— Kate Hansen (@k8ertotz) November 3, 2016
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?
No— andyroddick (@andyroddick) November 3, 2016
We have a game ladies and gentlemen— sage kotsenburg (@sagekotsenburg) November 3, 2016
baseball— Chuck Aoki (@Aoki5Chuck) November 3, 2016
Wow— Kyle Okposo (@bookerT2116) November 3, 2016
This is insane!!!!! 😳😳😳— Bridget Sloan (@bridgetsloan) November 3, 2016
Dear Lord.— chris plys (@chrisplys) November 3, 2016
At that point it was time to buckle up to see how things would play out.
Me oh my this World Series will become a movie 🎥... 😳— Swin Cash (@SwinCash) November 3, 2016
Do not go to bed early, this is just the best game E-V-E-R!!! #WorldSeries— Shannon Miller (@shannonmiller96) November 3, 2016
What. A. Game. I don't even like baseball much and this is great. #WorldSeries— Jonathan Horton (@J_Horton11) November 3, 2016
With each batter, the tension escalated. Tighter and tighter, in a way to which so many Team USA athletes can relate …
This World Series though 😳😱👀— wallace spearmon jr (@PrinceSpearmon) November 3, 2016
This game is like an emotional roller coaster 😂😫😭😩😊 #WorldSeriesGame7— Nate Bartholomay (@NateBartholomay) November 3, 2016
Omg, this #WorldSeries is making me need a Tums.— Amy Van Dyken-Rouen (@amyvandyken) November 3, 2016
Everyone in the stands looks so miserable. So nervous. No fingernails remaining in the stadium. So much face touching.— emma coburn (@emmajcoburn) November 3, 2016
I don't even watch baseball and this is riveting! Talk about pressure #WorldSeries 🔥🔥🔥— Elena Hight (@Elenahight) November 3, 2016
Particularly interested — and stressed, of course — were the fans of the teams.
Rip fingernails #WorldSeries— Elena Delle Donne (@De11eDonne) November 3, 2016
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.
Come on! Play through it! #WorldSeries— Elena Delle Donne (@De11eDonne) November 3, 2016
Is this a movie script? #WorldSeries— Connor Fields (@connorfields11) November 3, 2016
Rain delay at the start of extras in #Game7...unreal. I don't think I'll be getting any sleep before I head to the airport in a few hours.— Luke McDermott (@LukeJMcD2) November 3, 2016
THE DRAMA! This is what you train for... the adversity. Extra innings. Rain. Let's do this thing.— Maggie Steffens (@maggiesteffens) November 3, 2016
OMG. We all needed a break. Gather ourselves. #WorldSeries— Ashley Wagner (@AshWagner2010) November 3, 2016
OK, Team USA, we can make it through this, right?
I just asked @andyroddick "Can you even imagine the nerves they are feeling?"— Brooklyn Decker (@BrooklynDecker) November 3, 2016
I forgot that he was a professional athlete.
The home stretch was a real-time thing of Twitter beauty …
YES!!!!! Oh my gawwwwd! screaming from excitement and screaming with anger!!! Now Montero!!!! YES!!!!— Anna Li (@AnnaLi_88) November 3, 2016
My anxiety is at an all time high right now.— Maggie Malone (@MaggieMalone93) November 3, 2016
This World Series is so crazy— Miles Chamley-Watson (@MChamleyWatson) November 3, 2016
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.
Cubs win!!!!!!— Jake Dalton (@jake_dalton) November 3, 2016
OMG!!! #WorldSeries— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) November 3, 2016
YESSSSS GO CUBSSSSSS!!!!! #FlytheW— Sandi Morris (@sandicheekspv) November 3, 2016
No ones going into work tomorrow. Chicago's buying.— Maggie Malone (@MaggieMalone93) November 3, 2016
Seriously I've been in my pj's and scarf ready for bed 😆but this game was everything! Goodnight loves.. Congrats Chicago 🍾 #WorldSeries— Swin Cash (@SwinCash) November 3, 2016
Watching the reaction of athletes winning a championship is something that will never get old #gocubs— Ryan Murphy (@ryan_f_murphy) November 3, 2016
Cubs, baseball, and all of us, won tonight. Wow! #Cubs— Chuck Aoki (@Aoki5Chuck) November 3, 2016
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!— Melissa Stockwell (@MStockwell01) November 3, 2016
Love, a Cubs fan for life.
FLY THE W CHICAGO!!! Go Cubs Go!!— Kelsey Robinson (@Krobin32) November 3, 2016
What a game, What a series! Congrats Chicago @Cubs .— Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm) November 3, 2016
Congrats CUBBIES..... I been riding since "goat no more in '04" 108 years later...... makes it that much sweeter! #HarryCaraySmilingDown— Candace Parker (@Candace_Parker) November 3, 2016
I moved to America in 1989 to the north side of Chicago & I've been a Cubs fan since that day. They played on WGN free tv. I'm elated! #fb— Tyrone Smith (@iFlyNoWings) November 3, 2016
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?
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:
Tough night to be the Country Music Awards...— KK Clark (@kkclarkusa) November 3, 2016
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 …
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.
Thanku to the International Swimming hall of fame for a tremendous induction ceremony, I'm honored to be a part of the class of 2016!!! pic.twitter.com/8tJykoMT6P— Dara Torres (@DaraTorres) October 30, 2016
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.
“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.
These are assisted one arm pull ups. Great for working on single arm lock out strength. I used them in my workout today. Here it is: 25 min AMRAP 400m run 10 air squats with 15 lbs in each hand down by side 10 strict handstand push-ups 20 hanging side crunches. 10 each side 10 assisted pull ups. 5 each side. - - I made it through 7 rounds - - I forgot to post my workout from last week. Try this out. It was miserable the last few minutes. 10 min EMOM (every minute on the minute) 20ft rope climb 10 strict handstand push-ups.
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 ❤️ and support and thank you to @coppermtn for these gorgeous flowers! 🌺 #headedhome #rhabdosucks #gratitude #roadtorecovery ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨
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?! 🌴🌴🌴 😎#ROAD2RECOVERY #DRHackett @coalheadwear
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.
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.
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.