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."
Red, White And Blue Dreams
Dom Dwyer’s year managed to get just a little bit better this past week. After the birth of his son in September 2016 and gaining United States citizenship in March 2017, the husband to U.S. Women’s National Soccer Teamer and Olympic gold medalist Sydney Leroux Dwyer earned a call-up to play with the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team earlier this month against Ghana.
And of course the Kansas City forward scored in his debut on a well-timed volley to give Team USA a 1-0 lead, which sent his wife into a thrilling celebration. Sadly, that was not caught on camera, though we did get the next best thing.
But, first, a few pregame pics …
… the aforementioned after-celebration goal celebration …
… and the postgame, beginning with a mini-feature on Dwyer’s goal and celebratory flip …
Kobe Bryant, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and one of the best players in NBA history, has in hoops retirement taken on a sort of elite athlete emeritus status and been kind in complimenting the elite athletes who have earned his admiration via Twitter. Welcome aboard, Dwyer.
My man 🙌🏽🐐 https://t.co/3uEzm51o27— Dom Dwyer (@Ddwyer14) July 2, 2017
Another Beauty Debut
July 1 also marked a milestone for young Kellyn Acosta, who bent a free kick in for a 2-0 lead against Ghana in what turned out to be a 2-1 win. United States soccer fans, meet the lanky 21-year-old Texan:
A moment I'll never forget... so happy to score my first goal with @ussoccer Bring on the Gold Cup 🇺🇸💪🏾— Kellyn Acosta (@KellynAcosta) July 2, 2017
Everything seemed to be going along with such mundane beauty for Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles on a Hawaiian vacation that may have been seen, in one social post or another, by millions.
There was this (110,000+ likes)…
… and some of this (175,000+ likes) …
… and a lot of this (134,000+ likes) …
… none of which would lead to harm. Until this …
Biles’ swim with the the sharks earned her more than 245,000 likes along the way.
The Fun Continues
Another week, another continent for Olympic figure skating gold medalist Tara Lipinski and Todd Kapostasy as their honeymoon rolls on. After their impressive Kiawah Island wedding, the pair hit the road for the stunning Maldives. The next stop: Thailand. Where Lipinski met a spirit animal.
Congratulations are also in order for three-time world champion and Rio Olympic wrestler Adeline Gray, who tied the knot with United States Army captain Damaris Sanders in Denver’s Chatfield State Park.
In Utah, long track speedskater Lauren Cholewinski married Tigh Isaac in a #laurentighstheknot hashtagged ceremony this past weekend. Soon after, she updated her Instagram account to mrs.issac, under which she recapped the event.
If Dan Jansen is in the rink with a pair of skates, time is going to stop for a bit there. When it comes to legendary Olympic stories, few can compete with Jansen’s. Jansen, a multiple world-record setter, suffered heartbreaking loss both off and then on the oval during his 1988 Games, but, as one of the very best in the world throughout the years before and after, he finally earned gold in 1994. This past week, he made more than a few days while in Utah.
A year ago, Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto returned home after a fall left him partially paralyzed and in the hospital. Now, after more than a year of training for a different kind of event, that of merely walking again and down the aisle later this month, Nieto’s story is one of step-by-step inspiration.
There’s an old saying about one can’t teach height, and, particularly for Olympic beach volleyball star Phil Dalhausser, being 6-foot-9 comes in handy. Unless your accommodations aren’t quite prepared for much more than 5-9.
We rented a chalet on airbnb for the first night in Gstaad. The ceilings were a little low but other than that the place was pretty cool. The other picture is the view from the front door. This place is amazing. Play starts tomorrow! #gstaadmajor #switzerland #alps #amazing @roxvolleyball @redbull @rapidforcephs
One of the more anticipated magazine issues of the year among athletes dropped this past week to much social media fanfare, and this year’s #ESPNBODY delivered plenty of Team USA athletes, including six from the U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team, Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, Olympic figure skater Ashley Wagner and Olympic soccer player Julie Ertz. Ertz (née Johnston), who was married this past February to NFL tight end Zach Ertz, joined her husband for his shoot. Featuring Olympians Meghan Duggan, Monique Lamoureux-Morando, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, Brianna Decker, Kacey Bellamy and Olympic hopeful Alex Rigsby, a few behind-the-scenes outtakes …
From Athens To London
Two-time Paralympic sprinter Jarryd Wallace, training in his hometown of Athens, Georgia, will soon be off to Great Britain like …
King For A Day
Though only three Americans are riding in the Tour de France, which opened this past weekend, one of them bearing the most Team USA interest is three-time Olympian Taylor Phinney. Phinney, once injured so badly that his ability to run again was in doubt, is making the most of a TDF debut that was delayed by that very crash in 2014. Even now, Phinney’s leg can bother him. All these years and all those hard miles since, Phinney is now racing on the biggest stage.
12th today. Happy with my ride, felt like I paced it well. Was cautious in the corners after the crashes I've had already this yr. #tdf— Taylor Phinney (@taylorphinney) July 1, 2017
For Stage 2, he earned the title of King of the Mountains when he climbed ahead of the field before relinquishing the jersey the following day to teammate and fellow American Nathan Brown.
Had fun out there, hurt a lot. Border between dream and reality was very blurry... I have to say, I liked it !!! #TDF2017— Taylor Phinney (@taylorphinney) July 2, 2017
Also, people of Earth; I feel so much love today. Thank you for cheering for me and sending me your positivity !! I love you back !— Taylor Phinney (@taylorphinney) July 2, 2017
Life as a Team USA athlete can often be summed up, when it comes to competing, as a travel life with competition dropped in between. For Olympic diver Steele Johnson, here’s the next month summed up in this tidy arrangement of emojis.
🇺🇸✈️🇲🇽✈️🇺🇸✈️🇬🇧✈️🇭🇺✈️🇺🇸— Steele Johnson (@Steele_Johnson) July 3, 2017
(One month of travel)
Three-time Olympic javelin thrower Kara Winger can relate. And then some.
Land Of The Free
When it comes to holidays, few are more appropriate for Team USA than the Fourth of July. Representing one’s country has a way of bringing out the pride in everything they do (Olympic bobsled medalist Steve Langton, who you’ll see below is a Point Break fan, began a trend among his peers in March to hashtag his social posts with #itsforamerica), and, each year, we see more and more impact on Team USA timelines. A good, heaping helping of the most shared, original and/or heartfelt follow, including from Purple Heart recipient and Paralympian Melissa Stockwell.
It's the home of the free becasue of the brave. Love, a #proudAmerican 🇺🇸— Melissa Stockwell (@MStockwell01) July 3, 2017
I am proud, honored and thankful to not only live in America, but to represent America. It's truly the best country in the world! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/Ur76wJsszw— Scott Hamilton (@ScottHamilton84) July 4, 2017
~4th of July~ Smile at a stranger today. Say thank you. Say please. Tell someone you love them. Salute a veteran, or active service member. Because how lucky are we, to have this? How lucky are we to have love and life and justice and liberty and the pursuit of our dreams and happiness? No, it isn't always perfect, but how lucky are we to have a home worth fighting for? How lucky are we to have people who are willing to fight for all of those values. To stand up for this country. Thank them! Thank the men and women who risk their lives to keep the biggest fights away from our home. So we can have days like this, where our biggest worry is how we are going to properly celebrate the "birth" of our country. Thank you to all the service men and women who keep our country safe. Happy 4th of July! #independenceday #4thofjuly #thankyou #family
I rarely eat hot dogs, when I do, it's the 4th of July and there's a 100% chance that I'm wearing my American flag shoes. Happy Merica day!— Amanda Everlove (@A_Elove) July 4, 2017
The last time I was home during the 4th of July was.... 🤔— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) July 4, 2017
🎉🤰🏻🇺🇸👫 pic.twitter.com/RIm7B7U8B8— Carly Patterson (@CarlyPatterson) July 1, 2017
We've had quite a year, America. Love ya forever. Thank you to all the amazing people who made it possible pic.twitter.com/7NPI6ORkgy— Maya DiRado (@MayaDiRado) July 4, 2017
Since it's the July 4th Holiday we decided to take a break from soccer for a few hours...— US Paralympic Soccer (@ussoccer_PNT) July 4, 2017
Happy Birthday America!! pic.twitter.com/XMmqxhJNdo
The last time I was home during the 4th of July was.... 🤔— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) July 4, 2017
UNITED we stand (or still sit and roll... but you know what I mean) 🇺🇸💃🏻🕺🏿🚶🏼🚶🏽♀️🏃🏾♀️♿️ pic.twitter.com/bcsdgMXi0y— Lacey Jai Henderson (@lacesyourfriend) July 4, 2017
If everyone could stop with the fireworks my dog is upset pic.twitter.com/fmX7coxpdB— Charlotte Drury (@Charlotte_Drury) July 5, 2017
Wrigs wanted to say Happy 4th to everyone and asks that you turn your fireworks down just a little. pic.twitter.com/DsEESSHomz— Elena Delle Donne (@De11eDonne) July 4, 2017
Postcards From …
It wouldn’t be Team USA if there weren’t greetings from the road, and these Fourth of July posts made for a touch of home from around the world.
From Italy …
Happy 4th of July! 🇺🇸— Colleen Quigley (@steeple_squigs) July 4, 2017
❤️, the BTC in Italy pic.twitter.com/07PiJgKMKq
From Switzerland …
From France …
From China …
No Days Off
For a good many Team USA athletes, July 4 came with a dose of reality. Tuesday was simply a work day. And for the incomparable Tatyana McFadden, it was, again, another winning day.