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."
One. Year. Ago.
One. Year. Ago. For hundreds of Team USA athletes, that phrase means so much more than the phrase itself. It means a lifetime of training and dreaming and visualization and working on talents that, while placing an elite athlete squarely in a spotlight, also meant entering into a more grueling, often lonely existence with light at the end of the tunnel months or even years later… in Rio.
One year ago. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/xsV6rQ0SBn— Steele Johnson (@Steele_Johnson) August 5, 2017
1 year ago today I won gold in Rio! Time has flown during this memorable year and I couldn't have done it w/o family+coaches!🇺🇸🥇 pic.twitter.com/xngIdffDM5— Ginny Thrasher (@GinnyThrasher) August 6, 2017
time flies • a year ago we won team gold • Final Five • my heart • 🇺🇸💙 pic.twitter.com/Ynm5WxkvCh— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) August 9, 2017
100 Percent Gold
The track world stood still for a few minutes this past week as one of the greatest athletes in Olympic history raced his last 100 meter final in a field that included a close rivals and a what may be the future of Team USA sprinting. In the end, not only did the legend finish third, but the future finished with silver and Team USA’s veteran finished on top of the world at the IAAF World Championships in London. Here’s a look back at how Team USA was caught up in an international showdown that began around 4:45 p.m. ET this past Saturday and ended with three-time Olympian Justin Gatlin, from Lane 8, edging out Rio teammate Christian Coleman and the great Usain Bolt.
This is the first time I've felt nerves about track in a long time.... THANK YOU NBC!— Kellie Brinkley (@KellieWellz) August 5, 2017
So sweet for Gat! Sweet redemption! YES— David Oliver (@doliversub13) August 5, 2017
He finally got him!! Much love Gat! @justingatlin— Darrell Hill (@B1GHomie) August 5, 2017
Let it out Gat. Let it out....— 🤙🏾 (@ManteoMitchell) August 5, 2017
That's my roommate! @justingatlin 🔥😎— 🤙🏾 (@ManteoMitchell) August 5, 2017
USA is back on top. Now it's our job to stay there. https://t.co/bt8C5NM68W— Carl Lewis (@Carl_Lewis) August 5, 2017
Great job Gatlin! Way to get that W!— Lex Gillette (@LexGillette) August 5, 2017
Tonight was incredible. First World Champs and came out with a silver medal. I couldn't be happier. Thank You God for this one🙏🏾🙌🏾#Blessed— Christian Coleman (@__coleman) August 5, 2017
With Gatlin’s gold safely around his neck, Team USA had a chance to add 100 meter women’s gold to the haul in London, too, with its best chance resting on Rio silver medalist Tori Bowie. Bowie’s late lean, one that brought out a flurry of memes in the aftermath, gave her a world title by the slimmest of margins, .01, in another race that had Team USA following.
Let's go Bowie! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸— Zachary Abbott (@Zabbott100m) August 6, 2017
😱Wow amazing finish by @toribowie !! 🙌🏻🇺🇸🥇— Molly Huddle (@MollyHuddle) August 6, 2017
CONGRATS @toribowie 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉 That's was some real deal runnin! Proud of you!!!— BIANCA KNIGHT (@MsBiancaAK) August 6, 2017
Oh Yeaaaaaaaaa!!💪🏾🇺🇸 @toribowie— Christian Coleman (@__coleman) August 6, 2017
Yes @toribowie you did you that !!!!— Deaj (@ButDeajahSaid) August 6, 2017
Congratulations @toribowie !!! USA is back on top, King and Queen of the 100m! Whoop whoop! 🇺🇸👏🏾👏🏾— Queen Harrison (@goQueengo) August 6, 2017
Congrats to fastest woman on the planet and fellow Southern Miss Golden Eagle Tori Bowie on winning world championship!!! SMTTT— Brett Favre (@Favre4Official) August 7, 2017
Taking On The Worlds
In addition to swiping 100 gold, Team USA had a great deal of celebrating to do from London — where the performances ranged from the disappointing to the inspiring and the surprising. In the women’s 10,000 meters, not one, not two, but three of Team USA’s runners finished among the top 10. They managed to grab this photo op:
… even caught the eye of two-time Olympian and steeplechase bronze medalist Emma Coburn
In the 1,500 meters, three-time Olympian Jenny Simpson inspired …
HERE. WE. GO. COME. ON. JENNY. #IAAFWorlds— USATF (@usatf) August 7, 2017
COME ON JENNY!!!!!!— David Oliver (@doliversub13) August 7, 2017
NICE MOVES JENNY! #IAAF2017— Ryley Miller (@RyleyMiller) August 7, 2017
Jenny got me over here feeling like I was racing! What a finish, couldn't happen for a better person!!— David Oliver (@doliversub13) August 7, 2017
JENNNNNNYYYY FREAKING SIMPSON— emma coburn (@emmajcoburn) August 7, 2017
Mastery=@trackjenny 🙌🏻🏃🏻♀️😱🥈— Molly Huddle (@MollyHuddle) August 7, 2017
I was jumping up and down and pumping my arms and screaming like I was in the race... I currently need a cool down and ice bath after that!— Kellie Brinkley (@KellieWellz) August 7, 2017
OMG @trackjenny is amazing!! What a finish, what heart!! That 1500 was intense, we were all screaming lol!— Queen Harrison (@goQueengo) August 7, 2017
The 3,000-meter steeplechase, it was two-time Olympian Evan Jager doing the inspiring as the first American male to earn a worlds steeplechase medal. Oh, and his hair.
It's steeple time!!!! Let's go Evan!! #london2017— emma coburn (@emmajcoburn) August 8, 2017
Gooooooo @EvanJager!!!! OMG---— Bernard Lagat (@Lagat1500) August 8, 2017
Wow, gutsy running by @EvanJager - gotta be proud of someone who goes for it! 🇺🇸🥉— Molly Huddle (@MollyHuddle) August 8, 2017
Rio bronze medalist Sam Kendricks improved on that result in London, leaping up to gold, which, of course, brought fellow pole vaulter Sandi Morris, who couldn’t wait to jump down from her perch in the broadcast booth, to a priceless cele.
Morris, the Olympic silver medalist, walked away with silver in London. And she left wanting more.
I'm so blessed to bring home another medal for my country 🇺🇸❤️🥈Yeah, I wish it was 🥇but I know my day will come. Patience.Thank u everyone❤️— Sandi Morris (@sandicheekspv) August 6, 2017
London Olympic 110-meter hurdles champion, Aries Merritt, finished fifth this time around in the event, a result made somewhat amazing by what he’d overcome to so much as reach the world final.
Super happy to still be one of the best in the world after all I have been through. Today wasn't my day but hats off to the men who executed and got the job done. Proud to say I'm the first person in history to make a world final after a kidney transplant 💪🏽. #untilnexttime #amhurdlestar #London2017 #inspireageneration
And how’s this for a game face from Rio Olympic champion, the Shot Diva, Michelle Carter?
A bronze medal later, and it’s all smiles …
Later in the week, up jumped Christian Taylor. Taylor entered the competition as a two-time triple jump world champion and exited as a three-time world champion to go along with his Olympic title. And yet … he was left disappointed when he didn’t break the decades-old world record.
Still, he had a teammate with him on the podium.
Last but not least from the World Championships, a team pic:
Reversal Of Fortune
The 2007 World Championships, which were held in Osaka, Japan, has a new silver medalist in the 10,000 meters. After an IAAF ruling from 2015, congratulations are in order for two-time Olympian Kara Goucher, who had finished third in the event. A long time coming, Goucher was overcome by emotion in taking ownership of silver.
Olympic champion tennis player Serena Williams got by with a little help from her very famous friends — including Eva Longoria, Ciara, La La Anthony and Kelly Rowland — this week in a post that earned her nearly 200,000 likes. Williams, with a baby on the way, is joined below by fellow Team USA athletes who still very much identify as parents.
Birthday Party Fun with Beacon and Ora! pic.twitter.com/09bVHpXMIJ— Jordan Burroughs (@alliseeisgold) August 6, 2017
And… this. It, too, is a parent’s story, just told from the other side. And the sentiment is priceless.
I LOVE the facial expression!!! As her dad I know this look. That is Sandi's don't mess with me" face. She learned it around age 8.— Harry Morris (@morris_hmorris) August 6, 2017
After weeks on the road, the #TNTravels show is closing. Olympic figure skating champion Tara Lipinski returned from the Maldives, Thailand, Vietnam, a quick stop in Switzerland, Italy and Greece, but not before posting a few more lasting images that have earned her tens of thousands of likes since taking off for the Maldives in early July.
Speaking of …
… trips, Olympic basketball champion and NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant took his show on the road, too. And he came back with a world record.
Spicy food, Taj Mahal, world records...still can't believe how great India was https://t.co/CTxpF0F9qU— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) August 5, 2017
As of Aug. 14, the Solheim Cup will be underway in West Des Moines, Iowa, where Olympic golfer Lexi Thompson is going to be hard to miss …
It’s coming. Winter is coming. And until it arrives, Team USA will seek it. The clock is ticking. T-minus six months.
Lastly this week, congratulations are in order for Paralympic snowboarder Mike Shea.