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 and having children. They're taking hard-earned vacations. Or retiring. Or 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."
How Do You See The World?
It takes a special kind of mindset to see this in the clouds. If you don’t see it at first, it’s worth the wait, right, Allysa Seely?
A mermaid in the night sky! pic.twitter.com/OMccP9NkkD— Allysa Seely (@AllysaSeely) April 15, 2017
And the Paratriathlon champion’s next post?
Your Dose Of Inspiration
If you aren’t following along with the progress of two-time Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto, who suffered an accident that left him paralyzed in 2016, there’s no time like the present. Not only is he checking in with images and video on social media, but he’s also sharing inspiring messages. The latest has him setting goals of walking and running again.
Marathon Monday in the city of Boston is a holiday that is both official and unofficial — official in that so many folks in Massachusetts have the day off and unofficial in that so many others, particularly outside New England, might wonder why. Adding another layer of texture to the day is the tradition of a Red Sox game being played, not far from the marathon’s finish line, a game that begins early enough to get fans out of the stadium and into the crowd by early afternoon. In short, Patriots Day is a day revered by many in a city known for its sports.
With Jordan Hasay and three-time Olympian Galen Rupp finishing among the top three in the women’s and men’s fields, the day was especially impressive for Team USA. Hasay lost her mother this past November, and that clearly served as motivation in her Boston debut.
On the other hand, wheelchair racing star Tatyana McFadden did not have her best day. The winner of over 19 marathons and 17 Paralympic medals finished fourth, in large part due to blood clots that had her hospitalized only two weeks before the race.
Social timelines afford us a look not only at athletes’ lives but also into their thoughts in the immediate aftermath of competition. There are powerful words to be found in that calm after the storm, and McFadden found solace in her finish.
you are loved! https://t.co/M0LdCePI67— Summer Sanders (@SummerSanders_) April 18, 2017
Feeling so blessed for the incredible support that I have received today!!! Thank you 💙— Tatyana McFadden (@TatyanaMcFadden) April 18, 2017
The world champion U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team earned, by way of its recent gold-medal win over rival Canada in Michigan, a pretty good gig for the Red Sox portion of Patriots Day:
Speaking of New England …
How much snow is left in Vermont? Not a lot, but Team USA alpine skier Robby Kelley, who thrilled 50,000 fans this past winter at a European slalom event when he hiked back up a slalom course after an airborne-and-sideways crash, is going to set a course and ski it anyway.
Hitting The Links
Coming off a season during which he finished No. 2 overall in world cup standings, 2014 Olympic freestyle skier Mac Bohonnon is ready to tee up an offseason.
While UCLA didn’t win the NCAA title, one of the most impressive collections of collegiate gymnastics talent did take home quite a bit of hardware — to say nothing of the lifetime of memories — as the season came to a close for, among seven All-Americans, Fierce Fiver Kyla Ross and Final Fiver Madison Kocian.
Ross, in the process, became the first gymnast to win an Olympic title, a world title and an NCAA title.
After rehabbing in California and at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, injured skater and 2016 U.S. champion Adam Rippon has retuned to skate under some bright lights once again. He kicked off the week with a routine on the "TODAY" show to draw a curtain on the famous rink’s 2016-17 season at 30 Rock in style.
Packing for a QUICK trip to NYC. I'll be skating on the @TODAYshow this Monday morning. The last skate of the season at Rockefeller Center!— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) April 15, 2017
Olympic tennis champion and one of the most dominating athletes of any era, Serena Williams, with her eight million Twitter followers, certainly moves the needle with her posts. It’s hard to know how many Snapchat views her Wednesday morning baby announcement earned, but, to get a sense of her fame, take a look at the national news outlets who helped pass along the news.
Serena Williams is expecting!— espnW (@espnW) April 19, 2017
The GOAT took to Snapchat to announce that she is 20 weeks pregnant. (via @serenawilliams/Snapchat) pic.twitter.com/7O9ub0VWVK
Serena Williams confirmed that she is pregnant and expecting her first child later this year https://t.co/7poxcyhxbu— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 20, 2017
So Serena cheated. Because that's technically a doubles match.🙌🏽 https://t.co/gkyBYlcHtQ— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) April 19, 2017
While late night had a crack at a line for the occasion, the sharpest response may have come from fellow Team USA tennis Olympian Andy Roddick, who offered this play on words:
There's gonna be a baby GOAT ..... We are so happy, and we know @serenawilliams will be a great mother— andyroddick (@andyroddick) April 20, 2017
Williams’ first Instagram post after confirming the news pointed to the future.
In Other Baby News …
Though Serena’s is a tough act to follow, three more Team USA athletes made a social media impact on the baby front, including Olympic champion Carly Patterson.
Those closest to us know we have struggled to get pregnant for quite some time and were wondering if this would ever happen for us. Thankfully, God has answered our prayers and Baby Caldwell is due October 2017! Mark and I could not be more overjoyed for our little miracle and we cannot wait to start this journey of parenthood! ❤️👶🏼 "For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart" 1 Samuel 1:27
And as we check in with the Rio triathlon champion, Gwen Jorgensen, guess what? She’s still running more than most of us.
2nd trimester almost done and still love running everyday. Read more https://t.co/u0cATWo9Eb— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) April 20, 2017
Fellow triathlete, Paralympian Melissa Stockwell, who like Jorgensen is due in August, is still running and running and running, too.
Mom News, Too
For Team USA soccer standout and Olympic gold medalist Sydney Leroux, the wait is over. More than 650 days had passed since playing a soccer game. Since then, she had a baby but also wondered and wondered and wondered some more about what her future might hold. This past weekend, in returning to the sport with FC Kansas City, Leroux took a pass from fellow Olympian Becky Sauerbrunn and opened the season’s scoring with a short-hop one-touch from the top of the box in what ended as a 2-0 win.
Amy Rodriguez, another Olympian and USWNT’er who took 2013 off to have her first child, scored the team’s second goal.
Here is the pair of moms just kicking it …
Just a couple of moms kickin' some grass. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/A1UaAJdZN6— Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) April 17, 2017
Winter Is Coming
You know who you can expect to see in advertising spots previewing the PyeongChang Games? Here’s a hint:
There’s a pretty good shot you’ll also be seeing more of White’s pal in this photo, the teenage star and future of women’s snowboarding, Chloe Kim.
Even in northern climates, evidence of spring is popping from sea to shining sea. One of the calendar’s official reminders of the season comes in the form of Easter, and Team USA stepped up its holiday game in social timelines.
Happy Easter 🐣🐰🐣 pic.twitter.com/xdK4dlMR9z— Margaux Isaksen (@MargauxIsaksen) April 16, 2017
The Difference A Year Makes
A year and a few days later, Andrew East may be pushing his luck with wife and Olympic gymnastics champion Shawn Johnson.
“How many?” is generally more important than “how?” when it comes to basketball, but Olympic champion Laurie Hernandez is out to challenge that accepted notion.
If you you’re going to high five, please get it right, particularly on #NationalHighFiveDay. A tip from the USWNT:
And for a glimpse into the competitive soul of Olympic swimming champion and multiple-distance world-record holder Katie Ledecky, open the door to a critique of high five form.