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."
Not far removed from wearing red, white and blue in Rio, Team USA golfer Rickie Fowler, as part of the United States’ Ryder Cup team, played for his country again, this time in Minnesota — where Fowler and his teammates won the cup to break an almost decade-long drought. More than a little comfortable on social media, Fowler responded to a well-wishing tweet from the caddy of his Sunday singles match opponent, Rio gold medalist Justin Rose.
Fowler would go on to win the match 1-up to help bring the Ryder Cup back to the United States. While winning the Ryder Cup is always a team victory, Fowler later found he had a late-evening spotlight all to himself.
Much more solemnly, Team USA would later bring the Ryder Cup to services for the late Arnold Palmer.
Bringing The Cup to The KING! pic.twitter.com/v8HnlFokkU— Rickie Fowler (@RickieFowler) October 4, 2016
Considering where the Ryder Cup took place, the self-proclaimed State of Hockey, we should consider this … par for the course.
As a track star dating back to her high school days and the most decorated female in track and field history with nine Olympic medals, Allyson Felix has long flirted with history. This past Saturday, she added another bit of history to her resume when she led her alma mater’s team on the field against Arizona State.
Now in full speed …
Yes, fall is here. And winter is coming (more on that below, where you’ll find winter athletes chasing the season), but a pair of U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team members are on the search for surf. Along with professional surfer Brianna Cope, Women's World Cup teammates Kelley O’Hara and Ashlyn Harris are in Costa Rica on a dream trip.
Meanwhile, In Siberia
Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, after nine days on the road and having traveled to three cities, is off to a nice 3-0 start in volleyball’s Superleague this season. Here’s why that might be of interest to Team USA fans: Olympic teammates, fellow Rio bronze medalists and brothers Erik and Kawika Shoji are playing for the Siberian team.
Getting a little tourist time here in St. Petersburg! pic.twitter.com/A5YKADrVih— Erik Shoji (@shojinator) October 1, 2016
The Best Week Ever
Ready, set, gooooo …
The incomparable Tatyana McFadden, who has won more than a dozen marathons and nearly 20 Paralympic medals, set the bar pretty hight this week with her own expectations. By the looks of things, she lived up to her own hype.
I was already a huge fan of @dancingabc and tonight I just became an even bigger fan! Wow, what an incredible show, and so glamorous. My favorite part is the positivity, and the different walks of life that come onto the show that take on a challenging fun task of dancing 💃🏼 💃🏻Huge congratulations to @lauriehernandez_ for an incredible performance and to come out with the highest score. I really enjoyed watching you perform and of course sitting with your family and friends. The nicest people ☺️☺️#squadgoals #DWTS
By the end of the week, though, it was back to work …
Reaching New Heights
As an Olympic freeskiing silver medalist, Devin Logan is pretty comfortable in the air. This past week, she showed off just how comfortable while working with Cirque du Soleil.
Fellow Olympic freeskier Aaron Blunck also joined in the high-flying fun — though with slightly less success in the slow-motion capture.
Blunck, did, however, take a great shot with the crew.
At long last, after the post-Olympics whirlwind and last week’s Ryder Cup, swimming legend Michael Phelps has some downtime with his son, his fiance and her mom, who reveled in the babysitting honors. He also managed to execute, in back-to-back Instagram posts that each earned more than 220,000 likes, a pair of textbook social media applications. First, the retirement photobomb …
Next, the retirement selfie …
To answer Phelps’ question, yes, Boomer appeared to be in great hands.
Hey, Where’d You Get Those Abs?
Six-time Olympic gymnastics medalist Aly Raisman has mentioned this before, but she does not come by her enviable abs by accident. There are years of crunches and core exercises, hours of work that so few see, and, occasionally, failing a gym or a mat, a bus will have to do.
Swimming For A Cause
For Sydney 2000 Olympic Games silver medalist swimmer Kristy Kowal, a cause had her swimming in a much larger body of water. Kowal began her Swim Across America posts six weeks ago.
On Oct 1st I will be back here in San Fran with @saaswim swimming in honor of one of my best friends, and the strongest person I know. Swim Across America provides funding to hospitals for clinical trials and research to find treatments and cures for #cancer. Please consider sponsoring my swim 🏊🏼. Link in bio ❤️🇺🇸 #effcancer #crushcancer
The San Francisco Bay is cold and scary and I'm certain there are sharks.... But I'm jumping into it in 6 days to help #crushcancer. Please consider donating $1 or $5 to help the kiddos at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. Link in bio 💜🌊🏊🏼🙌🏼. #forthekids #likeajanimal #makingwavestofightcancer #swimforacause #swimitforward
Cody Miller proved to us all this past month that he is more than a casual Harry Potter fan. So is his future bride, Ali Dewitt. Which looks a little something like this when they’re going for a dressed-down look.
Super Awesome Engagement Photos 😆✨!!Sweet!! pic.twitter.com/9NFhMsziPO— Cody Miller (@swimiller) October 1, 2016
Congratulations are also in order for Miller, a men’s 100-meter breaststroke bronze medalist and 4x400-meter medley gold medalist in Rio, for being nominated in the Relay Performance of the Year category of the 2016 Golden Goggle Awards. Teammate Phelps was nominated for five awards, while Maya DiRado, Anthony Ervin, Katie Ledecky and Ryan Murphy each earned three Golden Goggle nominations.
For a pair of Team USA’s most famous women, books are all the rage. In the case of one of the best soccer players in the world, Carli Lloyd, she’s already on a New York Times bestseller list.
In the case of one of the best skiers in the world, Lindsey Vonn, she’s just getting started.
Vonn is also getting a workout on her book tour — as is her wardrobe.
This is what happens when 4-foot-9 meets 7-feet …
good luck to the Mavs this season! thanks for letting us stop by practice :) pic.twitter.com/SsCYUiNalD— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) October 1, 2016
Good Luck Charm
The San Francisco Giants head to the playoffs, and Rio Paralympic cycling champion Jamie Whitmore helped them get there — provided you believe in good luck charms. Whitmore threw out the first pitch in the team’s season finale, a finale it used to sweep the rival Dodgers and clinch a chance to advance in a one-game Wild Card playoff game. San Francisco went on to win that, too, to advance to the NLDS — a series where Whitmore will no doubt be rooting for the Giants.
On a side note, does it get any better than this shot from this past week of Whitmore’s grandmother wearing her gold medal?
National teamer and Olympic gold medalist soccer player Sydney Leroux Dwyer took to Instagram this week to tell the story of her pregnancy in a creative video montage that earned more than 245,000 views.
A closer look at Cassius:
Thanks to a fan Q&A, we also have a better sense of where she’d like to take her soccer career (spoiler alert: back to Team USA):
As the days grow shorter, and as so many have a difficult time coming to grips with the annual fact of life, we know winter is around the corner. Fortunately, we have winter sports heating up as the days take on a chill. And while 489 days feels like a lot, we’re not all that far away from the 2018 PyeongChang Games being a mere year away. Team USA athletes are no doubt very aware of this.
To wit: Sliding. Not far from the Olympic city of Lillehammer, Norway, a contingent of Team USA’s sliding athletes are in Hafjell, Norway, where Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin found that being on her luge sled suited her perfectly.
We also found that the ego of two-time Olympian Chris Mazdzer, prior to taking over Team USA’s Snapchat this week, is fully stable (note the comments).
Mazdzer also offered a small ode to the sport he loves.
And let’s not leave out those who truly love winter. Blunck, for example:
Definitely wouldn't mind if the ground was all covered in snow❄️— Aaron Blunck (@Aaron_Blunck) October 5, 2016
His wish came true, too. The next morning, he’d be off and “Stoked to go shred” in New Zealand.
The best feeling ever waking up to fresh snow! pic.twitter.com/TDEQ14Yo0J— Aaron Blunck (@Aaron_Blunck) October 6, 2016
We also have our first snowman of the season.