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."
One of the great honors of one of the great holidays in this country went to wheelchair marathon star Tatyana McFadden, who made it to Manhattan on Wednesday night and in time to star in a tradition as American as apple pie: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
McFadden wasn’t alone among Team USA athletes at the iconic event, either.
Meanwhile, in Houston …
Thanksgiving Greetings, Treats And Turkey Trots
Among the myriad feelings at the ready for Olympic and Paralympic athletes who are so often supported by so many — families, strangers, friends, fans, communities — is to be thankful. Gratitude often comes with the territory for Team USA, and this Thanksgiving is no different as our elite athletes shared all sorts of perspectives on a day of relaxing, or golfing, or eating, or working out, or training abroad, or being stuck in the snow, or hanging out with Detroit sports mascots, or attending the Cowboys game, or making an inspiring practice walk down the aisle with your dad.
What an amazing morning @mayoclinic with my dad, @chrisweggemann, we practiced walking arm in arm with the harness! The hope is that come December 30th we will have mastered this so we can walk arm in arm down the aisle on my wedding day! This Thanksgiving holiday there is so much to be thankful for and with each step we took today I was reminded how precious the little moments in life are! #SnydermannWedding #BabySteps #SCI #wedding
We Dem Boyz! pic.twitter.com/KgTyRrhM8E— Chris Paul (@CP3) November 25, 2016
Before our 2016 Olympians hit the Tulsa track for the Greatest Race on Earth, they had something very important to do this Thanksgiving morning - served Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless. Thank you @connorfields11 @brookecrain32 @alisepost11 @niclong64 @csharrah24 #thankful #good4thesoul #thankful4bmx #usabmx
Golfing on thanksgiving morning with pops! Thankful for a lot including this guy. pic.twitter.com/YBgLOtUZVf— Thomas Jaeschke (@T_Jaeschke) November 24, 2016
I have many things to be thankful for in my life. Getting to travel the world, study at one of the most prestigious universities and compete on the world stage are just a few of the opportunities I've been given. These 3 rings are keepsakes from my biggest accomplishments - two Olympic Games and a National Championship win at Stanford. Certainly none of these came easy but the struggle was well worth it. Today I'm taking a moment to reflect and be thankful...Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 🦃❤️ #thankful #turkeyday
Thanksgiving Workout✅ pic.twitter.com/SrFtsLdMk9— Allyson Felix (@allysonfelix) November 24, 2016
Bounce in the truck they said. It will get the truck unstuck they said 😒— Lolo Jones (@lolojones) November 24, 2016
Happy Thanksgiving from The USA Bobsled Team trying to train today pic.twitter.com/0HthijAHjo
Travels And Tribulations
For two-time Paralympian and Purple Heart recipient Melissa Stockwell, getting to Thanksgiving was more than half the battle …
We are on hour 2 of a 10 hour drive and Dallas has already thrown his tractor from his car seat to the car floor 2,349 times.— Melissa Stockwell (@MStockwell01) November 22, 2016
Heading into this holiday weekend, two Rio Olympians had that much more to celebrate. Women’s golfer Gerina Piller and modern pentathlete Nathan Schrimsher, both born in Roswell, New Mexico, were awarded keys to the city in a ceremony on Tuesday night. In Rio, Piller tied for 11th while Schrimsher finished 11th in his competition.
Mirror, Mirror …
Congratulations are in order for Laurie Hernandez. Capping off a year that also included Olympic individual and team medals at the Rio Games, the women’s gymnast captured even more hearts en route to winning this season of "Dancing with the Stars."
WOW. First off, I want to thank the amazing @iamvalc . Not only were you my dance partner, but you were my role model and big brother too. Because of you I've grown as a person the past 11 weeks. You pushed me out of my comfort zone and I can't thank you enough for that. WE DID IT!! Next I want to thank all the competitors here. I didn't realize how close I would get to all of you. You're all amazing and I hope you all know that. I'm so grateful to have gotten to know all of you. Also, S/o to my family, friends, and fans for supporting me through day one. You all are amazing and I'm forever grateful. I can't wait for this new chapter in my life❤️
And, yes, Team USA was watching …
wow @lzhernandez02 DANCE WAS BEAUTIFUL! I GOT ALL TEARY EYED😍❤️— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) November 23, 2016
One of the biggest nights in swimming took place this past week, too, with television executive Dick Ebersol lauding USA Swimming as the “greatest single sports organization in the world.” Team USA came dressed to impress.
The fastest person in the room, though, doesn’t spend most of his time in the pool.
Comeback In Progress
To know the story of two-time Olympic skeleton athlete John Daly is to know the story of the hardest kind of defeat. After years of grueling training, Daly, taking off on his final run in Sochi and within striking distance of a medal, encountered a split-second nightmare when his skeleton sled skipped the track at the starting line and he wound up finishing 15th.
Not long afterward, he retired.
As of this week, however, he’s back. And he’d kept that pretty quiet, even shooting a video prior to making his return official.
For Daly, a new countdown is on: PyeongChang for the 2018 Games.
The dynamic media duo that is @TaraandJohnny, also known as Olympic figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, spent the early part of their holiday weekend working. Well, sort of working …
Not Done Yet
Another setback isn’t getting in the way of the extraordinarily driven Lindsey Vonn, who not long ago posted images of a gruesome injury. This week, though, with her left arm wrapped, she sneaked in a leg day.