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."
The Year’s Best
In the event someone was daring to dream, who would have the temerity to, say, consider starting the year winning a Grand Slam tennis tournament? While pregnant? Followed by welcoming a baby girl and getting married? In short, the kind of sports legend and Olympic champion who winds up with her name one of the biggest buildings at the headquarters of on of the most successful athletic companies in the world. Here’s a hint …
What a year it has been. First a grand slam win followed by a awesome baby... than the most magical wedding. What next? How about a building!!... Nike announced yesterday that one of its new world headquarters buildings will be named after me. It will be the biggest on campus and is scheduled to open in 2019. I am honored and grateful! #TeamNike @nike
Still, Williams can occasionally use a boost from her fans …
Good morning all. I'm caught in bed. Trying to make it to practice. Help any motivating words?— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) December 4, 2017
Omg I love all your all feedback! You will be happy to know I'm out of bed and On my way to train! Thanks guys! See this is why I love you!— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) December 4, 2017
Alpine skiing legend Lindsey Vonn’s weekend in Lake Louise didn’t go as planned, but it did lead her to posting one of the great quotes we’ve seen for a competitive athlete. And it’s from a relative.
Do you want to know how Olympic bobsled hopeful Lauren Gibbs looks like this?
Emerging from jet lag like... 🦋 made it to Winterberg, Germany for World Cup #4 🔥❄️🇺🇸 . . 📷: @mollychoma . . #roadtopyeongchang #olympics #girlswholift #teamusa #crossfit #girlswithmuscle #push #winter #athlete #love #sport #bobsled @teamusa @usabs @workingagainstgravity @sportsillustrated @espnw @gettysport @nbcolympics @virusintl @lululemon
By working out any way she can. And that includes on the road. In Germany. In a parking garage.
It’s not glamorous but it gets the job done... lifting in a dusty cold garage is just part of #bobsledlife . . . #roadtopyeongchang #olympics #girlswholift #teamusa #bobsled #winter #athlete #love #sport @workingagainstgravity @crossfit @nbcolympics @lululemon @gettysport @sportsillustrated @espnw @usabs @teamusa @elanameyerstaylor
Japan, In Perspective
The Shib Sibs are on the road again. Packing and unpacking are a way of life for Team USA, and few do it with as much aplomb, or social media style and grace, as the sibling skating duo, fresh off a gold medal in Lake Placid, New York, and within about two months of a chance to win an Olympic medal in PyeongChang. Ah, life on the road …
Hard to argue with this sentiment …
A mesmerizing time-lapse from another perspective …
Still life …
Now all of 19 years old, River Radamus says he grew up dreaming of skiing for Team USA at the Olympics, yes. But also, having grown up in Vail, of competing at Beaver Creek. That dream came true this past week when Radamus, who won three gold medals at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, made his first world cup start at the famous Birds of Prey event. Presumably his competing, though he missed the second race by .02 seconds, was better than another recurring dream.
But for those .02 …
Between them, Olympic alpine skiers Laurenne Ross and Julia Mancuso, herself a four-time Olympic medalist, there are literally years lost to injury. Add to that the pain and suffering of those injuries (take a look at Ross’ litany below, and Mancuso underwent hip surgery in 2015, leading to months on crutches), followed by rehab, then having to adjust to a new normal not only of expectations, but also of an imperfectly altered way of life, and you have the makings of a long road back to work. For Ross and Mancuso, that road leads to now.
8 months later -- after a torn ACL / LCL / medial meniscus / lateral meniscus / popliteal fibular ligament, dislocated tibiofibular joint, and a broken tibial plateau -- I am stepping back in the start gate. Tomorrow is another big step, and I feel ready to take it. I am scared, of course, but I feel more excited than anything... Excited to get nervous, excited to try my new hand, excited for the unknown. Thank-you to everyone who has held my hand, stood by my side, and shown love and support on this journey. And thank-you for the little pushes and words of encouragement. Without you I couldn't be here ♥️ @rebound_pt @sportsrehabconsulting @usskiteam @mtbachelor @voelklskis @brikousa @reusch_brand @reuschspeedunicorns @lekiusa @bose @robertross1228 @jmpurvis55 📸: Fabrice Coffrini
Shades of Winter:) 📷 @dylandafish I'm racing tomorrow, I'm excited. It's all part of the journey. My mental game is strong, I hope my body can keep up! I will admit, I have no expectations, just to enjoy the ride. I couldn't do this without the support of my amazing team:) #funolympics thank you. ❤️❤️
Day. One. Into every skier’s year, an Opening Day must fall. And not a moment too soon. In this case, one of the calendar’s most anticipated days fell into the lap of four-time Olympian Daron Rahlves.
The World’s Most Famous …
Madison Square Garden is known as “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” and two of Team USA’s best young boxers can add to their resumes an appearance in the hallowed hall. Congratulations are in order for 20-year-old silver medalist Shakur Stevenson and 27-year-old Mikaela Mayer, both of whom have made their professional debuts after competing in Rio. Heading into the weekend, both were active on social media, including Mayer’s preview video.
The media was awesome today in NY @mendezboxinggym . Also pretty awesome to be sharing the stage at Madison Square Garden with my US Olympic Teammate and your 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist, @shakurstevenson. Gonna be a great night of fights.👊🏼 #TeamUSA @usaboxing @trboxing 📸 @trappfotos #wearetoprank #usaboxing #rio2016 #olympians #boxing
Welcome To New York
New Yorkers are famously unwilling to engage with a glance in the midst of the sidewalk hustle and bustle, but that doesn’t mean three-time Olympic gold medalist Heather Mitts can’t do her part to crack the veneer
I love playing the smile game in NYC. See how many people can smile back. So far I’m 1 smile and 1 stare 😀😒— Heather Mitts (@heathermitts) December 4, 2017
The results this time around?
20 smiles/ 8 awkward stares on my 15 minute walk. I’d say that’s a success #NYC— Heather Mitts (@heathermitts) December 4, 2017
I really zoned in on those who were in need of smile. When they smiled back it made made my day. Win/win 😀— Heather Mitts (@heathermitts) December 4, 2017
Better Luck This Year?
Yes, Rio Olympian Madison Keys, this would be a tough act to follow. Given her success this year, including an appearance in an all-American US Open final this past September, perhaps she will close out 2017 with another victory.
Ryker Alexander Grant gained his own independence, of sorts, on July 4, and, all these months later, has hit the pool with mom and seven-time Olympic swimming medalist Dana Vollmer. Clearly, he’s in good hands.
Pool, Cue …
Team USA has certainly made its presence felt at the World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City. At the 2015 edition, Team USA earned 30 medals, and it didn’t take long to start toward improving on that number in 2017 …
And how about this effort from 13-time Paralympic gold medalist Jessica Long?
AND that’s a wrap ✔️ I’m coming home with 8️⃣ gold medals and a lot of memories. It truly never gets old to stand on top of the podium and hear the national anthem, all while my teammates are cheering. Thank you Mexico City! 💛 pic.twitter.com/1NQmHbvg1k— Jessica Long (@JessicaLong) December 8, 2017