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."
Team USA Takes On Valentine’s Day
Like Valentines themselves, Valentine’s Days come in all shapes — grand, subtle, poignant and, sometimes, as a punchline. For 2017, we present you with Team USA’s best from a social media Valentine’s Day.
Valentine's Day + 2.5 Hour drive = ❤😂— Jason Brown (@jasonbskates) February 14, 2017
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY EVERYONE!! ハッピーバレンタインデー！❤🇰🇷🇺🇸❤️ pic.twitter.com/ndv35M6G82
You will forever be my always ❤ Happy Valentine's Day! pic.twitter.com/UetvkrKFra— Amy Purdy (@AmyPurdyGurl) February 14, 2017
Happy Valentine's Day! pic.twitter.com/G5YyHi31zH— Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) February 14, 2017
Never tweet after drowning your sorrows in a box of chocolates— Lolo Jones (@lolojones) February 14, 2017
Six-time Olympic medalist and alpine skiing legend Bode Miller spent Valentine’s Day overseas, at, of all things, a famous ski venue: St. Moritz, Switzerland. Have a look at Bode introducing his youngest to the sport of sled-surfing-behind-a-stroller. No word on whether it ever makes it into the Olympic program.
Olympic lugers Jayson Terdiman and Matt Mortensen, who with different teammates finished among the top 15 in Sochi, are looking for more in PyeongChang. In the 2018 Olympic host city for test events, things were already looking up …
At the end of January, Terdiman and Mortensen posted the second-fastest doubles time to help win Team USA a silver medal the team relay at the FIL World Luge Championships in Austria.
Meanwhile, In PyeongChang …
Lugers aren’t the only Team USA athletes checking out the sights, sounds and, most important, competition venues for the Games. Test events and international events are already underway in and around the Olympic site, including, this week, lots of action on the ice. In addition to a mascot introduction with speedskating star Shani Davis and a pretty good meal for figure skaters Grant Hochstein, Jason Brown and Karen Chen, thanks to ice dancing Olympian Alex Shibutani, we now know what the literal #RoadToPyeongChang looks like.
Soohorang (Korean: 수호랑) and Bandabi (Korean: 반다비) are the mascots of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. pic.twitter.com/18Gi2KiDRI— Shani Davis (@ShaniDavis) February 12, 2017
Once a year, the music world stands still for the Grammy Awards, and, along with it, so many of Team USA’s athletes who are no only pop culture consumers themselves but also fans who often rely on music to help them train. This past Sunday, the 59th annual edition of Grammys didn’t disappoint for sheer spectacle and drama — particularly when it came to Adele, Bruno Mars and, of course, Beyoncé. A few of our favorite comments from the proceedings in real time:
That Old Familiar Feeling
We learned last week that Steve Langton was back. On the occasion of #1YearToGo, the Olympian announced he’d become an Olympic hopeful all over again. That means, “Friday nights under the bar” and a renewed life on the #roadtopyeongchang. Taken at a sprint, it looks a little something like this …
It also means … pain.
When you wake up in the morning and are so sore that you're concerned about what will happen if you move.— Steven Langton (@StevenLangton) February 14, 2017
@DMStinson4 You know me too well. I threw a rager with the squat rack, cousin. ❤️— Steven Langton (@StevenLangton) February 15, 2017
One last item on Langton: Perhaps all this training is going to be costly from a sartorial standpoint.
Mary Lou Retton’s unforgettable gymnastics performance at the Los Angeles 1984 Games has become just that all these years later. And not just for those who witnessed it as it happened, either …
Twist O' Fate
“You could be an Olympian.” Those words, delivered years earlier by a rowing coach at the University of Virginia, where Meghan O'Leary was playing both softball and volleyball as a two-sport DI athlete, eventually made sense — but in the most remarkable of ways. It wasn’t until years later, while she was working at ESPN, that she even considered rowing. And, when she did, there was no fairy tale beginning, including, at the age of 26, suffering the indignity of being beaten by teenagers in a race. “Who was I kidding?” she thought to herself. In a recent TED Talk, O'Leary covers the ground that took her from novice Googling “rowing” to the biggest stage in the world. Prepare to be inspired by “The Power of One Day” …
The Power of One Day @MeghanOLeary1@usrowing https://t.co/9N1DUJawLM— TEDxCharlottesville (@TEDxC_Ville) February 13, 2017
The closer PyeongChang nears, the more interesting these show-stopping results become for two-time Olympian Heather Bergsma. In this case, at PyeongChang’s oval, Bergsma earned two gold medals, in the 1,000- and the 1,500-meter, and a bronze in the mass start. She was kind enough to share her wares on Instagram.
If three-time Olympic alpine skier Steven Nyman had his birthday wish come true, he would likely not be in this picture …
Happy Birthday to me!! Thanks for all the get well and Birthday wishes today. It would have been great to ski the World Champs DH today on my birthday but....I was crushing some couch time instead! 😜 Rehab, eat, sleep, repeat! Congrats @feuz87 @erikguay @maxfranzz it would have been fun battling you guys down that piste! Til next year!
The lives of Olympic athletes are not always defined by successes. And there’s something to be learned from the fact that Olympic pole vault silver medalist Sandi Morris comes out of an event in which she finished second with a post of the video of her “frustrating miss.”
For two-time Paralympian, bronze medalist and Purple Heart recipient Melissa Stockwell, who is due to have her second child this coming August, “success” a few months removed from her Rio medal is really a matter of perspective.
'I Don't Approve Of This’
Little did beach volleyball Olympian Nick Lucena know that an innocent food pic would touch off such controversy. Back in Tallahassee, Florida, where he went to school and where is wife, Brooke Niles, is head coach of the women’s beach volleyball program, Lucena treated himself to a decadent bite.
Unfortunately for Lucena, his partner, Phil Dalhausser, was watching, kicking off the following exchange.
phildalhausser: I don't approve of this
bniles16: @phildalhausser @pmbaxter it's all organic no GMO 😬
phildalhausser: @bniles16 yeah sure sure. It does look really good though, my mouth watered when I saw the pic.
njlucena: Benefit of having a nutritionist from the south @pmbaxter @phildalhausser
To rub things in a little, Dalhausser posted a snarky “food” pic of his own …
The Next Generation
Sugar Bowl has treated the Rahlves kids to a pretty good winter …