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."
Back To Work
Well, then. Nothing like being down, 3-1, to Brazil to make things interesting. That’s where the U.S. Women's National Team found itself in the Tournament of Nations this past weekend in San Diego. … Before scoring three unanswered goals in the span of nine minutes to earn a 4-3 win. The game featured not only the first goal for Julie Ertz (née Johnston) since her marriage to college sweetheart and NFL tight end Zach Ertz, but also the return of Sydney Leroux. Leroux, in her first game since becoming a mom, summed up an important week, and game, thusly …
Well that was WILD! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸— Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) July 31, 2017
Team USA drew even on a goal from Megan Rapinoe, whose last USWNT goal came during the 2015 World Cup.
On Top Of The World
Perhaps this past week’s most dominant performance came courtesy Team USA’s swimmers, a No. 1 position in Budapest that could best be summed up in one simple shot from one of the world’s most dominant athletes over the past five years, multiple Olympic champion Katie Ledecky. Ledecky came away from the event with five more world gold medals to go along with a silver. And this pretty clear indication of the United States week in the pool.
USA 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/ub0RZQtv3q— Katie Ledecky (@katieledecky) July 30, 2017
Ledecky, while on her way to her 15th world title, accounted for a good percentage of Team USA’s gold medals at the event, a number eclipsed only by 20-year-old Caeleb Dressel. Dressel, the 6-foot-3 20-year-old from Florida, took seven golds home from Budapest, including a history-making three in one glorious day that left broadcaster and three-time Olympian Rowdy Gaines in awe.
We are all fans in the end... https://t.co/oqEZN9Afrf— Rowdy Gaines (@RowdyGaines) July 29, 2017
Teammates certainly enjoyed the ride, too.
Caleb Dressel is a BEAST!!!!— Conor Dwyer (@conorjdwyer) July 29, 2017
For good measure, in addition to all that gold, Dressel also went ahead and shared this priceless sentiment along the way:
What a shame to be one of the great closers in the world …
Simone you finally made the picture!!!! pic.twitter.com/2mmnLjPjfD— Lilly King (@_king_lil) July 30, 2017
Manuel, who also celebrated a birthday this past week, did manage to have some fun out of the pool, too.
While Gaines, per usual, left his impact on the event from the broadcast booth, it was his wife who proved to be among the most consistently and enthusiastically supportive social media presences while in Budapest. To follow her timeline over the past week is to relive the enthusiasm of a wildly successful meet …
OH MY GOSH!! World Record!! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🔥🔥🔥🔥 @_king_lil— Jude Gaines ⚓️ (@judygaines) July 25, 2017
Ready, Set, Scatter …
With Budapest in the rear view mirror, many of Team USA’s swimmers have hit the road for some hard-earned R&R.
Team USA Abroad
Where else are Team USA athletes competing this time of year?
Initiative. That’s what Rio Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles took when the opportunity presented itself this past week at a car show.
The road to the Olympic Games goes through all kinds of practice settings — holiday lift sessions, lonely long runs, early mornings in the cold, grueling workouts, tedious repetition — but there are some days when even the practice setting is about the most beautiful thing an athlete might see in a week. Such was the case for Olympic freeskier Mac Bohonnon this past week while training in Utah.
Strong Hair Games
While speculation moved quickly to doubting the new mane’s authenticity, we now know what another Olympic gymnastics champion, Shawn Johnson East, would look like with a blue-hue ‘do.
When an Instagram bio refers to “perfect haired dude” and posts hashtag #amazinghair, you know skeleton athlete John Daly has hair game. But this whole Olympic training thing may be keeping him from reaching his #HairGoals potential.
Training for the Olympics is sacrifice...you sacrifice time with family, friends. Worst of all, you sacrifice exceptional hair days when you work out all the time. . . . . . . #fitness #fit #teamusa #train #focused #itsforamerica #perfecthair #hairgame #hairgamestrong #hair #flow #cabbage #bulletproof #nohelmethair #priorities @usabs
Daly’s hair in better times:
Congratulations are in order for Melissa Stockwell. The two-time Paralympian and Purple Heart recipient said that her family is now complete.
And now, my family is complete. ❤️🐾👨👩👧👦 pic.twitter.com/ilP3I5LSJD— Melissa Stockwell (@MStockwell01) August 4, 2017
On the other hand, fellow triathlete, Rio gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen, still has a few more miles to go ...
Mom with me vs me with Baby Lemieux. Baby is still cooking so we will see when s(he) decides (s)he wants to meet us ❤️ pic.twitter.com/pj0rA0hFRl— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) August 3, 2017
For a guy who captivated the skating world with his feet over the past year, and who stands to gain even more recognition as a men’s favorite this coming winter in PyeongChang, figure skater Nathan Chen is pretty good with his hands, too …
Meanwhile, two-time Olympic downhill skier Marco Sullivan can carve a pretty good turn on the water, too.
Push It Real Good
For the past few months, we’ve seen bits and pieces of the training regimen for two-time Olympic medalist bobsledder Steven Langton, workouts that often feature the lifting of absurd amounts of weight while a cadre of fans, including fellow Olympians, share their wonder and appreciation for the feats. Well, after a long time away from the sport, Langton took a significant step on the road to PyeongChang this week by winning the Push Championship. And if you’re wondering what that entails, behold the strength and athleticism …
After three years away from the ice, I was fortunate enough to come out on top at yesterday's @usabs Push Championships against a very athletically gifted field. With Push Championships behind us, I have my gaze set firmly on the fast approaching 2017-8 Season with the ultimate goal of bringing home some more hardware for @teamusa in February. Cheers to all of my teammates for a hard fought competition. It's going to be a fun year. 📸: Ron Leblanc 🥇 * * * #roadtopyeongchang #teamusa #ff #winteriscoming #itsforamerica
On the women’s side, congratulations are doubly in order for not only winning, but also setting a new record. Aja Evans, an Olympic bronze medalist in Sochi, broke the record of two-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor, who was on hand to offer those congratulations in person.
’Tis the season. Each summer brings with it the flood of Team USA’s most significant Olympic Games memories, and, through the magic of social media, we can see just how important and visceral they remain.
On July 29, 1996, Carl Lewis became second track and field athlete to win 4 consecutive Olympic golds in same event: https://t.co/wZ32Wm0lEn— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 29, 2017
What a night. https://t.co/on05T9XMrr— Carl Lewis (@Carl_Lewis) July 29, 2017
Today's my Olympic Anniversary!5yrs later,I remember most is the love & support I felt from my team,family & friends all over the world.😍 pic.twitter.com/TPwwFDVmrX— Marti Malloy (@Martidamus) July 31, 2017
This anniversary has a little less to do with winning medals, but Becca Meyers exploded on to the scene as a Paralympic swimming star in Rio
When In Jackson …
… you get waffles at the top of the tram. Right, Steven Nyman? The three-time Olympic alpine skier, along with his now-family-of-three, made it nearly 11,000 feet above sea level on a pretty epic couple of days of hiking. But, first … Taggart lake, at a mere 6,900 or so feet in Grand Teton National Park.
Then, it was time to climb for #NellNyman.
So, it’s not the decathlon. When it comes to his kids, that seems to be just fine with Olympic champion decathlete Bryan Clay …
A fairly impressive haul for four races apiece:
On My Summer Vacation …
Some of Team USA’s most recognizable stars play in the NBA, which went abroad this past week with NBA Finals MVP and Olympic gold medalist basketball star Kevin Durant — who found a pretty good photo op.
Kevin Durant x The Taj Mahal! pic.twitter.com/YYzC7lEUCe— NBA (@NBA) July 29, 2017
Cleared For Takeoff
Sarah Hendrickson, the 2013 world champion and Sochi Olympian who sustained a knee injury that led to surgery in 2015 and 15 months away from competing, is taking her show on the road.
For fans of winter and anyone simply thinking about the coming Olympic Winter Games year, this is one of the most serene sights in the world: snow all the way to the horizon. Yes, winter is coming. Though two of Team USA’s biggest names, Olympic alpine skiing champions and PyeongChang hopefuls Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn, have already found it in New Zealand.
Soon, fellow Olympic alpine skier Andrew Weibrecht will be carving some turns, too, in Chile. But not before soaking in a last few rays of summer in the stunning Adirondacks.
Weibrecht has earned some downtime. In addition to having Chile on the horizon, he’s only a few months removed from surgery that, by his count, has been followed by hundreds of hours of rehab — and he’s feeling like he “… might be ready to go.”
Almost, three months ago I hobbled into (then out) of surgery. The body can be such a limiting factor, as I found out the hard way last season. After, literally 100s of hours of rehab and a couple great training blocks, I'm feeling like I might be ready to go. #training #lakeplacid #skiracing #jump #usskiteam #gopro