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Red, White & Trending: Jan. 6-12

By Jamie MacDonald | Jan. 13, 2017, 8:13 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. They're taking hard-earned vacations. They're 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."

Crash Course

A quick, scene-setting refresher on Bode Miller. Not only is he one of the most decorated alpine skiers in history, including Olympic medals in four different events, but he had so much more impact with a personality that brought attention to the sport in the United States and an aggressive, limit-pushing style. With that came some spectacular and unfortunate crashes. Now, there’s a new generation of Miller skiers … to go careening into a mesh fence.

Sibling rivalry starts young.....so does learning how to crash like your father

A video posted by Bode Miller (@millerbode) on

Otherwise, it was smiles all around.

❄️⛷Happy Campers

A photo posted by Bode Miller (@millerbode) on

Simply The Best

In 2015, it was on a World Cup stage where soccer star Carli Lloyd put on a display for the ages en route to a captivating July 4 weekend finale that pretty well locked up her FIFA player of the year honors. For 2016, it was another set of dominating performances on the world stage, including 17 goals and 11 assists with the U.S. Women’s National Team. And, on a personal note, she was married to her high school sweetheart. Overall, a pretty incredible year. Earlier this week in Switzerland, she was honored, for the second time in as many years, as the 2016 FIFA Best Women’s Player of the Year.

Thanks to U.S. Soccer, we have her 2016 highlight reel:

True to form, Lloyd was well-prepared and dressed for success for her Swiss celebration.

Resting on her laurels, though, is not one her New Year’s resolutions.

Support Group

Not one, but two of Team USA’s top figure skaters, reigning U.S. champion Adam Rippon and Olympian Polina Edmunds, announced this week that they would not be able to compete at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships that begin next week in Kansas City, Missouri. It wasn’t long after their posts, however, that a Team USA support group formed around them.

Support Group, Too

Even a simple tweet can bring out the empathy in Team USA, proven by this exchange between a pair of Rio Olympians, beach volleyball legend Kerri Walsh Jennings and one of the fastest women in the world, English Gardner.

More Gold

If it’s golden, Team USA should be there, right? Such was the case at the Golden Globes …

Going for gold with an Olympic dip at the Globes with @simonebiles πŸ“Έ: @nigelbarker

A video posted by Conor Dwyer (@conorjdwyer) on

Bling, Bling, Bling

What do six gold and three silver Olympic track and field medals look like? Allyson Felix, who won three medals in Rio and this past week was named Sportswoman of the Year by the Los Angeles Sports Council, is the only woman in history who can pull together this display.

Four-time Olympic diving medalist David Boudia didn’t pass on the opportunity to put Felix’s accomplishments into perspective.

Red Sky At Night …

… It was, according to the adage, sailor’s delight for a pair of Olympic swimming champions who have combined to win nearly 30 gold medals. Earlier this week, both from Arizona, the sky was the limit.

Gotta love the desert sunsets πŸŒ… #nofilterneeded

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

The sky is so beautiful tonight. #Beautiful #Arizona

A photo posted by Amy Van Dyken (@amyvandyken) on

Ledecky Leaves Teammates In Awe

If she isn’t already there, Katie Ledecky is an Olympic legend in the making. Before the age of 20, she has shattered world records and won five freestyle gold medals at distances ranging from the 200-meter to the 800-meter. Sometimes, though, it takes a fellow elite athlete’s awe to get a sense of just how special a legend-in-the-making is.

Worse Than We Knew

While skiing fans were celebrating the stages of Lindsey Vonn’s rehab toward a return, the Olympic alpine star was going through much more than we knew. In an Instagram post that resulted in 206,000 likes and more than 950 comments, Vonn let us know just how serious her training injury was — "300 hours of therapy, severe nerve damage, no function of my entire hand." And, now, while she’s not yet fully comfortable putting on her glove or doing her hair, she’s still going to get back to skiing against the best in the world.

I am beyond thrilled that I am announcing my return to racing this weekend! It's been a grueling 8 weeks since my arm surgery with over 300 hours of therapy but all of my hard work is finally paying off! This video I made is very personal. I was very open with all of you regarding the bone fracture in my humerus but what I haven’t mentioned to you is the fact that I also had severe nerve damage. I have thought about whether I should share this information for a long time. In the end, I have opted to tell you because I feel my journey might also give hope to those with similar injuries. As you can see in the video, I woke up from surgery and had no function of my entire hand. I worked closely with my friend and physical therapist @lindsaywinninger and Patrick Rottenhofer every day to slowly regain my motor function. Today I am still struggling to do simple things like put on my ski glove and do my hair, but I'm at a point where I am comfortable with my hand in most situations. This has been the hardest recovery of my career to date but thankfully it has taken less time to heal than my knee injuries. After my 8 week checkup with Dr. Hackett, my bone showed significant healing and I was given the green light to start training and if I was comfortable, start racing. This is just a small piece of my journey back from rehab to racing. During the entire process I documented my progress and was also shadowed by a film crew from @eurosport . Together we captured every high and every low for my new docu-series 'Chasing History'. It will air in February, so you will be able to see my recovery as well as watch me continue to chase history in the future. Thank you for always supporting me no matter what obstacle I face. I have the greatest fans in the world and I am very thankful. And remember, nothing is impossible. If you fall, get back up! #nevergiveup Xo Lv

A video posted by Lindsey Vonn (@lindseyvonn) on

Next Acts

What hasn’t Swin Cash won? Two NCAA titles as a basketball star at UConn. Three WNBA titles. Two Olympic gold medals. And now she has a new job — not surprisingly it is in the game of basketball. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Kayla Banwarth, too. After wearing the red, white and blue in Rio, where she earned a bronze medal, Nebraska alum Kayla Banwarth is now back to work for the big red of her alma mater in Lincoln.

European Vocation

U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team star and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan has chosen to play overseas, and her excellent adventure is underway in France.

Grateful for this opportunity.

A photo posted by Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) on

Training Stories

Getting better, one 108-lap afternoon at a time. Modern pentathlete Samantha Achterberg is back to training.

True Patriot Love

On the left, we have Patrick Kane, a Buffalo native who played junior ice hockey in Canada and was the NHL’s No. 1 overall draft pick in 2007. On the right, we have Jonathan Toews, a Winnipeg native who played high school and college hockey in the United States and was the No. 3 overall pick in 2006. Now, they are teammates on the Chicago Blackhawks, for whom Toews is the captain and Kane is the reigning NHL MVP. They are two of the very best players in the world, and they’re even linked by a decade-old IIHF World Junior Championship semifinal that Toews won by converting three shoot-out goals over Kane’s Team USA. A measure of revenge came this week, though. At this year’s edition of the World Junior Championship, the United States topped Canada in a shootout to win gold in one of the best international hockey games of the decade — thereby forcing Toews into the indignity of rocking the red, white and blue.

Iron Workers

Team USA’s bobsledders work out hard, y’all. Even when that means setting up and tearing down their own weights. At a parking garage in Germany.

Speaking of sliders, Olympic bobsled gold medalist Steven Holcomb worked out hard enough to benefit from sitting with some pins and needles.

Training Day

When it comes to Alana Nichols, one never can be certain about the nature of her inspiring posts — from skiing steep powder in the mountains, to surfing on the seas, to her Paralympic adventures, to … going full dirndl in Austria. To see her workout, though, offers yet another inspiring window into her world.

Picture This

Occasionally, the picture is enough …

Today was one of those perfect days. #snowboardingmakesmehappy

A photo posted by kelly clark (@thekellyclark) on

Parting Thought

Related Athletes

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Bode Miller

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Carli Lloyd

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Polina Edmunds

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Conor Dwyer

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Danell Leyva

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Madison Kocian

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Aly Raisman

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Simone Biles

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Ashton Eaton

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Allyson Felix

Track and Field
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Katie Ledecky

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Lindsey Vonn

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Swin Cash

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Kayla Banwarth

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Alex Morgan

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Patrick Kane

Ice Hockey
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Carlo Valdes