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."
Facing New Challenges
When it comes to Best Team USA-related Mannequin Challenge, we have a new clubhouse leader, thanks to the star-studded cast of the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions. The tour, after three months on the road, wrapped this past week with two final stops in Boston, just in time to close strong with one of the great viral videos of the year.
Closing out a schedule of its own, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, with a pair of wins by a combined score of 13-1 on Nov. 10 and 13, officially wrap up 2016 with a record of 22-0-3. And with one sweet Mannequin Challenge.
Did you really think we would leave our last camp of 2016 without partaking in the #MannequinChallenge? #ARodCameo pic.twitter.com/vcN6guBQYa— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) November 13, 2016
Two-time Olympic judoka Nick Delpopolo sneaked this beauty in, too:
Check out my Mannequin Challenge Judo style! @TeamUSA @USAJudo @IntJudoFed #MannequinChallenge pic.twitter.com/XVOC1prxZf— Nick Delpopolo (@NickforGold) November 13, 2016
But Delpopolo’s best video of the week may have come with the kids beating him up.
Fun video of the kids at @W2WMA beating me up after class 😅😅 pic.twitter.com/sf5cBjk3J1— Nick Delpopolo (@NickforGold) November 16, 2016
Congratulations are in order for the National Softball Hall of Fame Class of 2016, an eight-member class that includes one of Team USA’s most recognizable softball stars in two-time Olympian Jennie Finch. This past week at an event in Shreveport, Louisiana, the newest class entered the hall for the 36th induction ceremony.
Finch: "my heart is overflowing with gratitude and appreciation. Thank you to my ASA/USA family" https://t.co/zzbYggDCQM pic.twitter.com/oidNJskKfL— ASA/USA Softball (@USASoftball) November 13, 2016
Finch: "I thank the Lord daily for this platform through softball." https://t.co/zzbYggDCQM #USASoftball pic.twitter.com/JsqhkNr9Db— ASA/USA Softball (@USASoftball) November 13, 2016
Finch: "Sport unified us together. Thank you for support of this game & by bringing people together." https://t.co/zzbYggDCQM pic.twitter.com/nf3rsEsrJw— ASA/USA Softball (@USASoftball) November 13, 2016
Finch: "Its been an honor to travel the country and put that Gold Medal in kid's hands." https://t.co/zzbYggDCQM #USASoftball— ASA/USA Softball (@USASoftball) November 13, 2016
Congratulations to the eight members inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame!— ASA/USA Softball (@USASoftball) November 13, 2016
» https://t.co/lML3vQRvHL pic.twitter.com/OV1ltOzmQM
The greatest gift of sport- bringing the world together! Honored and humbled to be inducted into the @USASoftball Hall Of Fame tonight! https://t.co/pZEUia191X— Jennie Finch (@JennieFinch) November 13, 2016
The class also featured Ken Eriksen, who won Olympic gold as Team USA’s head coach in Athens, Harry Haroian, Peter Meredith, John Nelson, Tom Penders, Terry Petersen and Mick Renneisen. And, if you don’t remember, the imposing 6-foot Finch became a household name by going 2-0 as a pitcher at both the Athens and Beijing Games on the way to winning gold and silver, respectively.
Get Well Soon
Unfortunately for Olympic alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, her chosen sport, the sport she loves in a way that has made her a legend, is a dangerous sport. No one knows that more than she does, of course, and, this past week, has provided another reminder of just how close elite skiers are from significant injury at nearly every turn. Vonn shared a few slices of her life since suffering the injury.
Yesterday started off well but ended badly. 😔I crashed while training in Copper and badly fractured my humerus. I had surgery in Vail last night and everyone took great care of me. I will work my hardest to be back on the slopes as soon as I can, as I always do. Thanks for all of your continued support❤️ #NeverGiveUp
Not In The Dark
When it comes to vision, it’s a matter of definition for Paralympic track and field star Lex Gillette. Gillette isn’t shy with a funny sight line when he has one, and he picked another great spot to drop one this past week.
Everybody is running around here in a frenzy just because the power has gone out... I don't see what the big deal is.— Lex Gillette (@LexGillette) November 13, 2016
Gillette’s more serious side, on the other hand, has also been on display this week:
At one point, blindness had me trapped, until I gained freedom in seeing a vision of what could be #Motivationmonday pic.twitter.com/Rm603pIQiJ— Lex Gillette (@LexGillette) November 15, 2016
There are a lot of people out there who have perfect sight, but they don't have 20/20 vision #TEDxSanDiego #speaker pic.twitter.com/UgshwAUVxg— Lex Gillette (@LexGillette) November 16, 2016
Excited to share the talk that I did at this year’s @TEDxSanDiego event. Just FYI, WINGS ARE JUST A DETAIL https://t.co/icG917DgKf— Lex Gillette (@LexGillette) November 16, 2016
Greetings From Doha
Olympic sprinting legend Allyson Felix was in Doha, Qatar, for an Association of National Olympic Committees general assembly, along with LA 2024, in an effort to bring the Games back to her native Southern California. Felix spoke passionately on Tuesday in favor of a Los Angeles Games … and she also, not surprisingly, got in a remarkably scenic run.
But, of course, this was a business trip, too, including for Olympic swimming star Janet Evans and Olympic women’s ice hockey pioneer Angela Ruggiero.
Arrived @ANOC_Olympic General Assembly in Doha with the most decorated U.S. woman in Olympic T&F history @allysonfelix!! pic.twitter.com/TmfHngxUtr— Janet Evans (@janetevans) November 13, 2016
Team #LA2024 in Doha for @ANOC_Olympic General Assembly with @caseywasserman @janetevans @allysonfelix #FollowTheSun pic.twitter.com/QGIY1f5Kmq— Angela Ruggiero (@AngelaRuggiero) November 13, 2016
Today #LA2024 presented a new Games for a new era at #ANOCGA2016 - guaranteeing a Games driven by innovation, sustainability & youth! pic.twitter.com/ShblAdCz72— LA 2024 (@LA2024) November 15, 2016
It’s A Matter Of Perspective
Being 6-foot-9 isn’t always easy. We know three-time Olympic beach volleyball star Phil Dalhausser has run into height issues before, including having to shave while on his knees. And … folding himself into an amusement park ride in the name of enjoying some offseason downtime with his son.
One of the more impressive collections of Team USA’s athletes gathered this past week in New York City for the New York Athletic Club’s All Sports Dinner. From that, a collection of our favorite shots from the event …
UFC fights draw a crowd, and few draw a crowd the way Conor McGregor has. On the night of his most recent bout, Team USA, per usual, was watching.
Cassius is ready. #UFC205 pic.twitter.com/0ieRPYKGIJ— Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) November 13, 2016
@bmartrun are you cheering for @TheNotoriousMMA ??? C'mon Ireland!— Keith Kelly (@kelrock1977) November 13, 2016
He is a savage @ufc #wonderboy #UFCNYC— Carmelita Jeter (@CarmelitaJeter) November 13, 2016
Zen master @TheNotoriousMMA !!! That was fascinating!!! Anyone else catch that? He was so calm yet quick! @ufc— Amy Purdy (@AmyPurdyGurl) November 13, 2016
What a man!! The 👑 #UFC205 #McGregor @ufc— Aron Jóhannsson (@aronjo20) November 13, 2016
#McGregorAlvarez #respect to Mcgregor— Jean Lopez (@LopezTKDAcademy) November 13, 2016
S/O to @TheNotoriousMMA !!!!! He's a first now! I respect it! #DoubleBeltsIn UFC congrats!!!— ClaressaT-rexShields (@Claressashields) November 13, 2016
#UFC205 was as epic as it promised to be. Thank you @ufc. I'm rewatching the fights today👊🏼— Dominique Moceanu (@Dmoceanu) November 13, 2016
You know who travels heavy? USA Luge. To be fair, though, it is a month overseas.
The team has arrived in #Munich...w/4 wks worth of luggage! #usaluge #travelerschoice #TeamUSA #WinterIsHere pic.twitter.com/tYRBBF8MMf— USA Luge (@USA_Luge) November 13, 2016
Fingers crossed they’re having this much fun in four weeks …
Not a bad place for some recovery stretching! Love it here in Austria 🇦🇹 #USALuge #TeamUSA pic.twitter.com/u0pPxqXGVv— Tucker West (@TuckerWest1) November 15, 2016
Today I realized my roommate, @ecsluge, is actually a caterpillar 🐛 #cocoon #jetlag #strugglebus #Heimlichisthatyou pic.twitter.com/uYKSKj6xgU— Erin Hamlin (@erinhamlin) November 15, 2016
Where In The World Is Conor Dwyer?
If you’re looking for a good couple of months, let’s take the case of Conor Dwyer. Over the past 12 weeks, the Olympic champion swimmer has chimed in from the New York Stock Exchange … a celeb triathlon with Zac Efron … Wrigley Field’s prized booth … from Cabo San Lucas … in the water near the Manhattan Beach Pier … Progressive Field as his beloved Cubs won the World Series … and the twisting turns of 17-Mile Drive near one of the world’s most beautiful golf courses.
He also managed to sneak in a round of golf with one of the best players in NFL history.
Teeing off NFL Sunday with The Goat @JerryRice 80 pic.twitter.com/bcjDh5ByjG— Conor Dwyer (@conorjdwyer) November 13, 2016
Thanks to Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, in town as part of Glamour's Women of the Year event, we have a priceless photo op brimming with Olympic champion women.
(Somewhat) Super Moon
Not every image of the “Super Moon” turned out to be all that super. But that didn’t stop Team USA athletes from getting out there and giving their amateur photography skills a try.
We leave you with this from Olympic gymnast Jonathan Horton, who is rehabbing from surgery and pulling off all kinds of nontraditional exercise that show off not only some creative obstacle course skill-building but also an almost absurd amount of strength.