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Red, White & Trending: Dec. 15-21

By Jamie MacDonald | Dec. 22, 2017, 2:05 p.m. (ET)

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."

Qualified. Success.

So much of the journey through adversity comes rushing back to Team USA athletes as they near the most signifiant milestones of their athletic lives. Considering all that goes into the journey, that’s no wonder. For Olympic short track speedskater Jessica Kooreman, this is happening all over again. And yet there is still, quite understandably, so much emotion and gratitude that flows through social channels.

Thanks to 2014 Olympic silver medalist short track speedskater Eddy Alvarez, who also wanted a little group hug for the effort, we have a closer look at look at some very talented future Olympians …

And perhaps the best hug scene of them all from the previous week …

Father Time

Quality time with Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps and son Boomer …


Little man and I just being lazy today🙈

A post shared by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on


Kid Toys

As part of a variation on a Team USA theme — we see you, Jordan Burroughs, Alicia Quinn and Melissa Stockwell — Olympic alpine skier Steven Nyman has a new workout accessory. One who really has no choice in the matter.

French Connection

Courchevel, France, treated Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin awfully well this past week — what with her 34th and 35th wins by way of top finishes on back-to-back days in both giant slalom and parallel slalom races, accounting for four wins in different events in this young season — but it’s not as if she doesn’t like the place, too.


Dear Courchevel, White suits you well 🌟🌟 #SeeYouMaybe #Soon #winterwonderland

A post shared by Mikaela Shiffrin (@mikaelashiffrin) on

Screen Time

Olympic gold medalist swimmer Cody Miller opens his Twitter bio with: Movie Buff and closes it with Water Jedi. That, friends, is someone who is going to see a new Star Wars film when he’s able. Miller offers a shakeup in his top 3.



Houston, Hello!

“Once the rain is clear and bbva is safe, some kind of charity match would be awesome” — Stuart Holden, Aug. 29, 2017

It all began with a few tweets in the midst of shock as Hurricane Harvey ripped through Houston this past summer. That’s when Olympic soccer team midfielder Stuart Holden found a way, as his followers on social watched almost in real time, to move through the emotion of grief and into a head space for grinding the gears to create what became a months-in-the-making charity soccer game this past weekend in the city he called home both as a young man and as a two-time MLS champion with the Houston Dynamo.

The run-up …




The celebs, including former national team members Charlie Davies, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Mia Hamm and Alexi Lalas …









And the lasting memories …









Prior to the game, Holden offered a love letter to the city — a love that began with an 11-year-old in Aberdeen, Scotland, in tears.

Houston, Hello (Again) …

2016 Olympic swimming medalist Simone Manuel, from Sugar Land, Texas, took to the basketball court this past week in Houston, stepping right up with a chance to win $5,000 for charity and …


When the topic of GOAT comes along a conversation, there are preferences o’ plenty. And when one of them gushes over another, as three-time Olympian LeBron James did this past week for Lakers legend and fellow two-time Olympic gold medalist Kobe Bryant did, you know it’s high praise.

Longtime fan, two-time U.S. figure skating champion and PyeongChang hopeful Alex Shibutani caught the ceremony, too, and pointed out where Kobe earns bonus points.

SoCal legend and five-time Olympic water polo player Tony Azevedo also had kind words for his fellow 2008 and 2012 Olympian.

On Track For PyeongChang

At the Paralympic Games London 2012, she won bronze as a rower. Less than two years later, at the Paralympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, she won two medals in Nordic skiing. Two years after that, at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016 she competed in cycling. Now, Oksana Masters, who was born in Ukraine and adopted at the age of 7, is on the Road to PyeongChang. Nearing the end of the calendar year, in fact, she’s out in front …

Operation: Comeback

When you place so much of your energy in a sport and your body betrays you, as has been the case with two-time Paralympic swimmer and gold medalist Mallory Weggemann, who underwent surgery on her arm earlier this month, the time spent coming back can at times be unbearable. But Weggemann already has the Road to Tokyo on her mind.


In the past 16 months I have maybe swam in total the amount I used to swim in a single training session. Although, no matter how much time I spend away from the water each day I fight for every inch to bring me one step closer to returning. Today I had my first physical therapy session following last weeks surgery and being discharged from the hospital and although I am still a ways from being cleared to return to the water I am focusing each day on the baby steps along my road to recovery. As I work to establish what my new normal will look like following this injury I am reminded that this injury is giving me two choices - I can either back down and allow it to determine what I am capable of moving forward or I can start at the bottom, push myself past any perceived limitations and continue to fight for my dream. As we face adversity, setbacks and circumstance don’t ever let them be the factor that defines what we are capable of, only we have the power to do that. It will be a long road but I am coming for you Tokyo. #RoadToTokyo #NotDoneYet #RedefineLimitations #Comeback2.0

A post shared by MalloryWeggemann (@malloryweggemann) on

Holiday Spirit

If you’re going to lift absurd amounts of weight, you might as well call a little attention to yourself with a Santa hat. For Olympic bobsled hopeful Nate Weber, who is also a Green Beret, this is well played …

If you’re in Northern California, keep an eye out for fellow bobsledder (note the Twitter handle) Nick Cunningham, the top-ranked Team USA driver, ranking No. 5 overall in the two-man (Codie Bascue tops Team USA athletes in the four-man at No. 6), all over the place …


Cookie faves with retired U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team defender Ali Campbell …

A little something for the kids with Rio Olympic gold medalist basketball player DeAndre Jordan …


No better feeling than making a child smile!!! #6DaysofGiving

A post shared by DeAndre Jordan (@deandre) on

Not more than a week after qualifying for PyeongChang, luger Matt Mortensen meets Manhattan …

Sweaters upon sweaters from the USA Hockey women's national team …


These are my people! #MerryXmas #tistheseason

A post shared by Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (@jocelyneusa17) on

Season’s greetings (as a TBT) from Team USA’s iconic alpine skiers …

Season’s greetings, too, from a pair of the United States’ best figure skaters, Olympian Ashley Wagner and recent Skate America silver medalist Adam Rippon …


Happy Holidays from me, Adam, and 1/3 of my cat 🎄

A post shared by Ashley Wagner (@ashwagner2010) on

Speaking of cats, a sock collection nothing short of impressive for skeleton athlete Caitlin Carter …



Bonus cat effort …

Related Athletes

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Eddy Alvarez

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Cody Miller

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Stuart Holden

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Mallory Weggemann