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 close are the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games? Close enough that the pre-Games promotional shoot extravaganza was in full swing this past week. Team USA kept the social media funnel full throughout a handful of daylong shoots, and we set aside a collection of sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes beauties.
There r puppies at the @NBCOlympics shoot. I don't know how, but I will find them, and I will cuddle with them. Then I'll steal them probs.— Ashley Wagner (@AshWagner2010) April 26, 2017
In The Dog House
After all those adorable puppies, lest we forget this behavior from man’s best friend (in this case, Olympic relay swimming champion Breeja Larson’s):
I left for a few seconds....😳 pic.twitter.com/edzJGqg9L1— Breeja Larson (@BreejaLarson) April 26, 2017
Baby Makes Four
When it comes to baby announcements on social media, the bar has been set pretty high by Team USA’s athletes (most recently, Sanya Richards-Ross’ comes to mind). Olympic 800-meter specialist Alysia Montano, who at the 2014 U.S. track and field championships competed at nearly eight months pregnant then returned to win her sixth title a year later, may have raised that bar.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White may not have plans to be in PyeongChang to defend their ice dance gold medal from Sochi, but they’re still dancing together through the wonders of social media. Thanks to Davis’ mom, the pair had good reason to share a laugh this past week.
My mom is going through old photos & just sent me this... 😂 Baby M&C⛸ pic.twitter.com/Aow9ZkwW7f— Meryl Davis (@Meryl_Davis) April 26, 2017
I almost wore this outfit today. Weird https://t.co/1EKbFO4bu9— Charlie White (@CharlieaWhite) April 26, 2017
Yes, Illinois is a Big Ten school. And, yes, Tatyana McFadden is a proud Illini alum. But, on Thursday, she had the honor of speaking at the graduation of a rival institution and wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity.
MP Gets Rowdy
Though it was at an event he later noted on Instagram was not taped, three-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Rowdy Gaines, in addition to adding another lasting swimming-related memory, also came away with some fantastic pics from during his sit-down with Olympic legend Michael Phelps.
On Track, On Point
Team USA’s top sprinters had more than a little on-track fun on their Bahamian vocation this past week, running off with all kinds of hardware, including six gold medals. And, when you win in the Bahamas, you dance …
Led by a good many of Olympians, including LaShawn Merritt and Natasha Hastings, Team USA earned its third consecutive Golden Baton, too.
Kobe, Steve, Steve, Kobe
While NBA fans are now deprived of his feats on the basketball court, if this is what retirement looks like for basketball legend Kobe Bryant, we’re ready to see what’s next. In this case, the two-time Olympic gold medalist shows off his chops as a serious actor — flawlessly delivering on what may be the most tactical and beautiful poetry slam tribute to another legend, Steve Urkel. Extra credit for the scene-stealing turtleneck and dramatic lighting. It’s all So. Darn. Good.
Helping charge the more than 90,000 YouTube views were Twitter posts from, among so many others, Rolling Stone, Slam, Time, Bleacher Report, Sporting News and TMZ.
The fictional Steve Urkel certainly had his awkward moments for the TV show "Family Matters," but he has nothing on this real-life exchange involving Olympic champion gymnast Aly Raisman.
Happy Earth Day
When one spends most of his or her life training or competing, the earth’s elements become a way of life for Team USA’s elite athletes. For so many Olympians and Paralympians, Earth Day is every day, but they certainly had something to say about observing the holiday this past weekend.
The gallery approach …
The Hercules …
Happy EarthDay! from the ❤island in the pacific @tavaruaislandresort . The Fijian's know how to live a simple and happy life. I always learn so many wonderful things from them. #respectourplanet 📷 @dylandafish #EarthDay2017 #Earth #EarthDayEveryday #Ecology #Green #GoGreen #GreatOutdoors #GoOutside #Nature #Recycle #ParisAgreement #NatureLovers #ClimateChange
The sweeping view …
Happy Earth Day from one of my favorite views in the 🌎!! My life has been shaped by time spent in the great outdoors. Let us not forget from where we came and to where we will ultimately return. We are nothing without our glorious Mother Earth. Treat her kindly 🍄🌳🌼🌿❤️ #earthday #mothernature #balancedpursuits #thegreatoutdoors #exploremore #beaUTAHful #fishertowers #moab #whereifoundlove
The variety pack …
The sunset view …
On the rocks …
Dog daze …
The muddy post …
The good timing edition …
The creative approach …
Earth Day ❤️ pic.twitter.com/opquFIonaH— Shaun White (@shaunwhite) April 23, 2017
'Home Is Where Team USA Is'
From the “You know you’re an elite athlete when …” files, we present …
Where do you live? Over the past three years, this has become one of the more difficult questions to answer. My answer is usually "nowhere!" which only leads to more questions! That being said, when I arrived back at the training center in Colorado this week the "welcome back" I received from other athletes and staff makes this place feel like a home away from home. When you travel as much as I do, that's important! I'm honored to be able to spend some time here this summer as I prepare for Olympic Year... home is where the heart is, or in this case home is where @teamusa is!🇺🇸 . . . #itsforamerica #pathtopyeongchang #pyeongchang2018 #bobsled #ohsheila #offseason #training #i #love #travel #worldtraveler #athlete @usabs @virusintl @nfsports_ @sopivot @kelloggsus @k_fuel @oakley
PyeongChang bobsled hopeful Lauren Gibbs seems to be making the most of her return to Colorado, however.
Paralympic star Nicole Roundy visited Las Vegas for a little getaway in advance of a friend's big day. Hard to argue with the results posted on Instagram …
If you’re not following along with LA 2024 on social media, now is as good a time as any. In addition to guest takeovers and original content, venue tour videos have heated up. Take a look at six posted this past week.
Flip Ya For It
Olympic gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg, winner of the first-ever Olympic gold medal in men's snowboard slopestyle, can still go huge.
Shreddin shreddin shreddin pic.twitter.com/rz6LTJEY7n— sage kotsenburg (@sagekotsenburg) April 23, 2017
All in all, this is a pretty good week for Kotsenburg, who opened his Utah Jazz playoff fandom on a good note.