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."
Waiting, The Hardest Part
Leading the world cup overall standings after a few weeks, 22-year-old alpine skiing star Mikaela Shiffrin would like to get back on the hill. Snow, however, was keeping her and her teammates from their appointed rounds this past week. So, earlier this week, she decided to wait it out.
S P E E D ⚡️ D A Z E We were ready to rumble but apparently some foggy-cloud-snake(😹) really needed to migrate through the Super-G course today🙊🤷♀️. Oh well, what can ya do? Next chance tomorrow! (For further explanation on the “foggy-cloud snake”- google the “Maloja Snake weather pattern” 🐍) #IfYouWantASnowstormScheduleASpeedRace #SirNapsALot
Trivia question: Who is the first ever honorary member of the Houston Texans Cheerleaders? Here’s a hit: She’s a four-time Olympic champion gymnast from Houston. Introducing …
Facts:💯— Texans Cheerleaders (@TexansCheer) December 8, 2017
the ICON @Simone_Biles aka HTC Simone has been an amazing #TEAMmate at practice this week and recently earned her #LegendaryRedBoots!https://t.co/x7MnH5RTTX
*Catch her dancing with us this Sunday at NRG Stadium for #Texans vs 49ers!@HTC_Speaker🔊
can’t wait to cheer at my first game 🏈— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) December 10, 2017
GO HOUSTON TEXANS ‼️ pic.twitter.com/K4ijVE86ud
Thanks to a pair of Stateside tour stops over the past few weeks, first at Copper Mountain in Colorado, then at nearby Breckenridge, fans of Team USA’s remarkably deep and talented snowboarders have been treated to video o’ plenty. And it’s captivating, thanks to, fresh off her part of a Team USA sweep at Copper Mountain with Olympic champion Kelly Clark and teen sensation Maddie Mastro, Chloe Kim’s first-place finish (see her winning run below). For her part, Kim may be about two months from making an indelible impression in her Olympic debut.
Just … wow …
After his own podium finish at Copper, two-time Olympic halfpipe champion Shaun White looks pretty solid during practice at Breck.
Olympic champion Jamie Anderson going big on the course …
Those Views, Tho …
Traveling the way Team USA does comes with its many downsides — time away from friends and family, grueling workouts, disappointment — but there are some perks for winter athletes who like an office with a view.
You could say the view from the top of the track in Igls, Austria is pretty ok. Makes you want to put another shrimp on the barbie. . . . . #roadtopyeongchang #winterOlympics #Olympics #hopeful #teamusa #teamamerica #merica #austria #austrian #alps #landdownunder #haventseenanykangaroosyet #orkoalas #viewfromthetop #mountainair #unreal #getoutsideandplay #bobsled #bobsleigh #militarymuscle #tacticalathlete #specialforces #greenberet #soflete #meninuniform #snowmen #nofilter #narnia #yeti #country
St. Moritz, Switzerland …
The San Jose Way
As of Thursday, Team USA’s women’s hockey squad was prepping for a pre-Olympic exhibition game against rival Canada a day later in San Jose, California, but not before meeting with a couple of legends.
Melissa Stockwell, a two-time Paralympian and paratriathlon world champion, is putting her young daughter to work.
Slip(up) And Slide
Whoops. Despite being left scrambling when their sleds didn’t arrive in time, two-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor and Olympic hopeful Lauren Gibbs proved why they’re among the best in the world even without their own sleds. Through their story, we also learn that the bobsled community was willing to help them out in their time of need.
Sleds have still not arrived from the US and we have a race that counts towards Olympic qualification this weekend 😩😳🤦🏾♀️— Elana Meyers Taylor (@eamslider24) December 6, 2017
OH NO! Keeping our fingers crossed they show up for you, Elana! 🤞— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) December 6, 2017
Thanks to Team Romania 🇷🇴 and Team Japan 🇯🇵 we were able to borrow sleds today to qualify for the race. Now to get race sleds... also thanks to everyone for providing us gear- 🇨🇭🇷🇴🇧🇪🇩🇪🇨🇦 🇦🇹🇬🇧@IBSFsliding @USBSF— Elana Meyers Taylor (@eamslider24) December 6, 2017
After not having our sleds all week, I'm stoked about 🥈 yesterday in Winterberg World Cup! I promise I drive with my eyes open 😉 Thanks to so many athletes and countries for helping @TeamUSA get thru this week and the @IBSFsliding for being flexible. @USBSF pic.twitter.com/8LRM4IXo7y— Elana Meyers Taylor (@eamslider24) December 10, 2017
This week started out with borrowed equipment and a snowy race and ended up with a 🥈 and a beer with @elanameyerstaylor! Thank you to everyone that gave us equipment to train with! #groupeffort@USBSF @TeamUSA @lululemon @NBCOlympics @IBSFsliding @usatodaysports @espnW @ALTIS pic.twitter.com/mzSMD8IV8d— Lauren Gibbs (@lagibbs84) December 10, 2017
Patience Is A Virtue
In February of 2015, the U.S. Ski Team spun up an unforgettable dance video to the Bruno Mars hit “Uptown Funk,” and it earned Olympic cross-country skier Simi Hamilton, who uploaded the video to YouTube, nearly 100,000 views for the effort. Now, they’re back at it … maybe. We’ll just have to wait and see. For now, we have only this hint:
’Tis the season of giving. And in the case of Paralympic snowboarder Keith Gabel, that means giving back — to a 10-year-old bilateral amputee who just took a snowboarding lesson from one of the world’s best.
This is my 7th year coming to @thehartford #skispectacular and I can honestly say that every year has been better than the last. I am beyond grateful I got to meet my new friend Lilly and teach her to make her first turns on a snowboard. At only 10 years old she's a bilateral above knee amputee but I've never met a person with so much spirit and positive energy. Words cannot express how proud I am of her for all of her accomplishments this week and also to call her my friend. Keep killing it girl! . . . #shesmyhero #optoutside #stoked #teamworkmakesthedreamwork #thehartford #skispec #prevail #teamusa #usparalympics #hero #volunteer #snowboarding #iwill #nike #versafoot #sherrybdessert #sheshreds #lovethelifeyoulive @biodapt @sherrybdessert @nike @thehartford @teamusa @usparalympics @jesslilly07
Sweater Season, Too
’Tis also the season for … sweaters.
Sugar Mountain Resort in western North Carolina hosted not one, but two Olympians this past week — four-time Olympic alpine skier Marco Sullivan and Olympic figure skating medalist Paul Wylie. For Wylie, a little snow wasn’t going to get in the way of obliging with a performance.
That Was Fast
Really fast. The college debut of young Olympic track star Sydney McLaughlin turned out to be an impressive success. As a 16-year-old at the Olympic Games in Rio, she managed to advance to the semifinals of the 400-meter hurdles. And, now, her debut includes all sorts of hints of becoming a future star.
Low altitude collegiate record college opener 👀😭🙌🏽 gonna be a good year #floknows 💯— Sydney McLaughlin (@GoSydGo) December 9, 2017
And so it begins— Sydney McLaughlin (@GoSydGo) December 9, 2017
Compton, California, celebrated its 64th annual Christmas Parade this past week, where Team USA sprinter Carmelita Jeter, who was born and raised there, served as a speaker.
Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be
Vacations should be more relaxing than this …
A raccoon came in our hotel room when we were sleeping and stole all of the food from the minibar and now we have to pay for it.— Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) December 8, 2017
Food poisoning loves me I swear.— Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) December 11, 2017
Getting It Right
On the other hand, Olympic swimming champion Cody Miller does seem to have lucked out on his honeymoon.
WOW!! THIS PLACE!! pic.twitter.com/vF08As5Rem— Cody Miller (@swimiller) December 9, 2017
Honeymoonin!! Swimming with wild Dolphins🐬🐬 pic.twitter.com/zK8ORJbHdg— Cody Miller (@swimiller) December 11, 2017
I’ve now swam in 6/7 Major Seas!— Cody Miller (@swimiller) December 12, 2017
Gulf of Mexico
(Missing Arctic) pic.twitter.com/4eYzkdhAJw
One. More. Year
Not long after winning the New York City Marathon, Massachusetts native Shalane Flanagan had a decision in front of her when it came to running the Boston Marathon.