By Jamie MacDonald | Dec. 29, 2017, 2:02 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."

 

Turning The Page

Within striking distance of rolling over that most significant of calendar pages, Team USA has 2018 in its sights. For elite athletes who peg so much of their lives to dates on calendars and how they square against the next competition, the next taper, the next break, the next early morning, the next stretch of grueling workouts and even the next Olympic or Paralympic Games, turning this page means looking ahead. And Paralympic swimming champion Becca Meyers is already there.


Season Of Giving

It was as a child growing up in Puerto Rico that Carlos Steffens first caught the water polo bug. Steffens would go on to star at Cal in the late-1970s, and he would pass that love of water polo down to his children — two of whom, Jessica and Maggie, played on a pair of Olympic teams. Each of the Steffens kids has a deep affection for Puerto Rico, and Maggie, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time NCAA champion at Stanford and two-time player of the year, has been working to help support efforts related to repairing the almost unimaginable damage left behind after Hurricane Maria.


Strong Finish

It isn’t too late for 2016 Olympic shot put gold medalist Michelle Carter, also known as the “Shot Diva,” to add a little bling to cap off 2017.


Cold, Colder

When taking a dip in 30-odd-degree water is a warm-up …

To be fair, two-time Olympic luger Chris Mazdzer has been working toward this for a bit.


What Time Is It?

We’ve all been there, sometimes even doing the math on a birth year, and let’s give tennis legend and four-time Olympic champion Serena Williams a free pass after adjusting to life with a newborn.


Must-Watch …

First in spirit and eventually in address, Vail, Colorado, is home to Olympic skiing legend Lindsey Vonn, and she looks awfully at ease carving the quick turns of a slalom in what amounts to her backyard. Watching Vonn ski almost effortlessly in a discipline by which she isn’t first associated offers a reminder of and appreciation for just how much technical range she has — and served her so well throughout her career.


Southern Hospitality

If you’re going to include “World Traveler • Adventure Seeker • Lover of Maps and Trees” in your Twitter bio, you might as well hit the road like a boss. Such is the case for Olympic figure skating medalist Sasha Cohen. If you were looking for her this past week, the 2006 U.S. champion could be found in Africa.

 

 

 

πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ·πŸ‘ˆπŸ» #Stellenbosch #dornier #southafrica #africa

A post shared by Sasha Cohen (@sashacohennyc) on

 


Twas The Night Before …

Christmas is a time of celebration. Of giving. Of visiting. Of … eating. Olympic champion triathlete Gwen Jorgensen, who announced in November that she would be shifting her focus to competing as a marathoner, is putting in the miles, and this foodie was going to be ready to appreciate some of the spoils.


#MerryChristmasEveryone

Not every day is Christmas, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a day off for Team USA, either …

When it comes to Christmas, this country’s elite athletes rarely disappoint on social media, and this year would serve up no exception. Here is a sampling of the best of the best in a Team USA Christmas, social style — broken into a few categories, beginning with the fireplace pic entries …

 

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!!

A post shared by Shannon Miller (@shannonmiller96) on

 

 

Merry Christmas from both of our families to yours!!

A post shared by R I C K I E (@rickiefowler) on

 

Holiday spirit, you say? Not many take it to this level …

 

 

Merry Christmas! πŸŽ„πŸŽ

A post shared by Elana Meyers Taylor OLY (@elanameyerstaylor) on

 

 

 

 

 

A favorite category: pics with dogs and/or trees (and/or both) …

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas! Hope your day was filled with love! xx

A post shared by Allyson Felix (@af85) on

 

 

Merry Christmas πŸŽ„ Love the Kooreman’s

A post shared by Mrs. Jessica Kooreman (@thejessicakooreman) on

And for the next generation …