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."
New York State Of Mind
Born in California. Raised in California. Went to high school in California. Attending college in California. By every last measure, Olympic figure skater Polina Edmunds is a Californian. And despite traveling to competitions across the country and around the world, she has yet to make it to Brooklyn. So, she’s going to make the most of a good day and a perfect photo op on the Brooklyn Bridge.
… And in Times Square.
… And the Empire State Building.
… Aaaaand Grand Central Station.
… And the moving 9/11 Memorial in southern Manhattan.
… And the Metropolitan Museum of Art, too.
The trip was also a work trip, of sorts, for Edmunds.
The Right to Play event had more than a little Team USA flair, too.
Mutual Admiration Society
For a very long time now, beach volleyball’s Jake Gibb has been one of the best in the world. He’s won big in the professional ranks, earning a rookie of the year award, a tour championship, team-of-the-year honors, and an MVP award along the way. He’s also made three Olympic teams and is a two-time USA Volleyball Male Beach Athlete of the Year (2012 and 2013). This past week, though, Nick Lucena — a Rio Olympian and USA Volleyball Men's Beach Player of the Year in 2015 — got the better of Gibb, who found about the classiest way possible to make everyone look good on Instagram.
For his part, Lucena added his own entry to the mutual admiration society in a most classy Insta post.
If you’re keeping score, however, Gibb can claim more than 18,000 followers on Instagram while Lucena’s just past 11,000.
Dressed To Impress
Yet again, Paralympic track and field star Lex Gillette is on top of the world, having this past week won gold in in the long jump. Prior to his running in the 100-meters, where he finished fourth, he posed for this priceless pic.
Unfortunately, I finished fourth in the 100m finals tonight. So close to the podium, but so far at the same time.— Lex Gillette (@LexGillette) July 15, 2017
With the help of my sidekick @Wesley_Williamz, I was able to capture the gold medal and long jump world title from the rivals. It will be returned to it’s rightful country, the United States of America #LongJump #WorldChampion #WorldTitle #Gold #Blind #AThlete #London2017 #London #England #UnitedKingdom #USA #TeamUSA #TeamHartford #Nike #GritBeforeGold
As testament to how many friends Gillette has made along the way, the Twitter tributes quickly followed.
Congratulations on your World Champion Long Jump— The Real Al Joyner (@JoynerAl) July 16, 2017
Congrats Lex way to set the tone for the group !!— Brittney Reese (@DaLJBeast) July 16, 2017
Congrats👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾— Allyson Felix (@allysonfelix) July 17, 2017
Gillette also, per usual, had a little fun along the way.
Gillette wasn’t the only Team USA athlete to enjoy his trip to London, as the United States figured heavily in the medal count. Thanks in large part to Paralympic superstar Tatyana McFadden.
Amazing to be back here in #london for these world champs especially after getting to compete in 2012. It has been a journey getting back filled with lots of ups and downs (sometimes that just life) but I wouldn't have missed this world Championships for the world ❤️Can't believe I got a 400 win tonight
1&2 today for @teamusa. 1500m finals are always fierce and fast because of the great competitors. You never know what to expect. I'm am so proud of my teammates today. We come from a great program @illinois1867 @illiniathletics @illiniwca and it's amazing to be able to train together every single day,compete together, and to be able to be close friends outside of the track as well ❤️
"Digby gets a bronze medal." Well look who made the Morning Journal 🤗💜 pic.twitter.com/SU1ikQOvTH— Savannah ✨ (@SavannahM_0403) July 18, 2017
The athlete lounge also offered a place to unwind.
Let There Be Height
A night after the airing of the ESPYs this past week, many of the guests and award winners made their way to an awards show for an entirely different audience at the Kids’ Choice Awards. Among them were two Olympians who won gold in Rio — one, Aly Raisman, in gymnasts and the other, DeAndre Jordan, in basketball. From right to left: gymnast, basketball player.
Sell-professed “big kid” Jordan went on to have a whole lot of fun. Even if he couldn’t see much.
Olympic rower Meghan O’Leary is on the move. Not only was she competing in the Club National Championships in Ohio, but she also made sure her accommodations with Rio teammate Ellen Tomek were mobile. Tomek even managed a podium finish before setting sail for the East Coast.
What a fun and crazy weekend at #usrowingclubnationals2017 🥉Great racing from everyone in the #lotmanchallenge, and congrats to @feliced23 and @kara_merica_bear for taking 🥇and 🥈A special thanks to @livcoff for letting me borrow her 1x just 35minutes before race time...wouldn't have made it to the start line without her, @jgraveyboat, @thesy5tem, and @meghanoleary1 #1down2togo @hocr1965 @hosr1970 @usrowing @thegoldcup @vesperboatclub @nyacrowing
Always in the back of their minds, though, is Sarasoata …
Up this week, a couple of Team USA favorites: #WorldEmojiDay and #NationalIceCreamDay …
Happy #worldemojiday! Sharing my three most used emoji in commemoration: 1. ❤️ 2. ⚪️ 3. ✈️ Siri told me those are my 3 so, yeah.— Johnny Weir (@JohnnyGWeir) July 17, 2017
We scream for the refreshing taste of a summer cool-down internet holiday …
Happy #NationalIceCreamDay! What's your favorite flavor? Today I nom'd on some mint chocolate chip! 😜 If you're ever in Ann Arbor, Michigan, check out @blankslatecreamery. I stopped by on my way home after practice today. #ShibSibsSuggest Didn't grab extra napkins tho so people are looking at me like I'm a hot melty mess 😬
A few weeks ago, Olympic track star Allyson Felix offered an inside look at her remarkable sneaker collection, leaning heavy on Air Jordans. It looks a little like this …
In an edition of #AskAllyson, she was asked about her five faves. And yet five didn’t seem to be enough.
As the 2012 Olympic Champion, Jenn Suhr has clearly proven herself in the pole vault. But she’s also an athlete. Which becomes pretty clear in the fast pitch cage.
Batter up! ⚾️ Why not jump right into the Baseball Fast Pitch cage? 😂 Good to know I still have a little Eye-Hand Coordination left. pic.twitter.com/xDwFOg3WGM— Jenn Suhr (@JennSuhr) July 17, 2017
Let’s Try That Again
A week ago in this space, we took a look at one of Team USA slalom skier Robby Kelley’s most talked-about moment this past season — which, unfortunately enough, was a crash that led him to climbing back up the hill on his skies so he could finish the race in front of tens of thousands during a raucous night race. Well, let’s take a look at a much cleaner run and honor the world-class abilities one of this country’s very best slalom skiers — and at night, too, this time in Norway.
Winter Here, Too
Head to a glacier and you expect to see more than a little bit of snow. But a lot of snow in the lower 48 in mid-July? Well, that’s where Mammoth Mountain has you covered. Right, Daron Rahlves?
Where In The World Is Michael Johnson?
The man with the golden feet is having a nice vacation for himself overseas. Four-time Olympic gold medalist and record-setting track star Michael Johnson, who had hopped across the pond with LA2024, knows how to set an itinerary for travel.
Wimbledon Center Court. Waiting for Venus! pic.twitter.com/Y9CLsSmeHU— Michael Johnson (@MJGold) July 16, 2017
No need for a pool to play water polo. Just use the Adriatic Sea! View from my hotel in Dubrovnik. pic.twitter.com/5tDhucYN90— Michael Johnson (@MJGold) July 18, 2017