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Red, White & Trending: July 21-27

By Jamie MacDonald | July 28, 2017, 10:30 a.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."


Wisdom Loss

Here’s wishing a relatively pain-free recovery for Simone Biles, who was generous to share a new entry for “best woozy post-op performance” …



wisdom teeth = gone ๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿพ‍โ™€๏ธ ps I have a funny video to share with y'all ! haha

A post shared by Simone Biles (@simonebiles) on



after wisdom teeth !! no words๐Ÿ˜‚ haha! ENJOY! hope yall get a good laugh!!

A post shared by Simone Biles (@simonebiles) on

Swimming Lane

One of social media’s great gifts, in addition to fueling the “internet holiday” economy, is to offer fans a closer look at the athletes they admire — for their talent or their candor or, often, both. Social media finds a sweet spot between what happens between the lines, the press conference and the press release, and the results after competition are as varied as the athletes themselves. With Team USA in Budapest for the FINA World Championships, swimming fans had plenty to cheer and athletes had plenty to celebrate (take a look at USA Swimming’s Official Instagram account for a running medals total). A few of our favorite posts from Budapest …



Race ready! Let's go ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ!! #FINAWorlds2017

A post shared by Katie Meili (@katiemeili) on




A post shared by Simone Manuel (@swimone13) on



We do everything together ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผ #finabudapest2017

A post shared by Kathleen Baker (@kathleenbaker2) on




2's company 3's a crowd 4's a World Record #USA๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ @usaswimming @_king_lil @mgrevers @swimone13

A post shared by caelebdressel (@caelebdressel) on


Goodbye, London

With the World Para Athletics Championships coming to a close this past week in London, Team USA, after earning 59 medals (20 of which were gold) over the course of the July 14-23 event, takes a reflective mood, including Tatyana McFadden, who entered unsure of how she might perform after suffering from blood clots in the run-up to London and exited with four more gold medals.


When in #london โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธfinally getting to enjoy this beautiful country #tourist

A post shared by TatyanaMcFadden (@tatyanamcfaddenusa) on



When you have a couple of weeks off ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿช๐Ÿซbreakfast anyone?!?!?!

A post shared by TatyanaMcFadden (@tatyanamcfaddenusa) on

Mikey Brannigan (two golds, one silver) …

Amanda McGrory (three golds) …

Scout Bassett (two bronze, one in the event where she finished last, the long jump, at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio) …


Hard core cheesinnnnnnn ๐Ÿฅ‰ I can't put into words what this means to me. They say nothing worth having comes easy and that has been my journey. Over the past 7 years in Para Athletics, I've questioned whether or not I belonged on this stage, I've doubted if I would ever stand on the podium, I've wanted to quit a handful of times, and I've been heartbroken and devastated on and off the track. On the flip side, this has also been 7 years of tremendous growth, staying patient and hungry for my goals, developing perseverance and determination to last a lifetime and building unbreakable bonds. Annnndddddd 7 strong fighting years to win my first global medal! -- If I've accomplished anything in this life, it's because of my tribe whose commitment and belief has helped me to defy all the odds. The real MVP is my coach Tonie Campbell who has taught me that it's far more important to work on the character traits of being a champion and not just the physical capacities. It’s an honor to call you my coach, but I couldn't be prouder to witness that you're an even better human being. -- God was faithful to me as an orphan in China and He's good to me now. Never forget your journey and dreams come true y'all, they really do! ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ’™โค๏ธ#HardWorkForeverPays #NeverGiveIn #YourDreamsAreValid #NotDoneYet #London2017

A post shared by Scout Bassett (@scoutbassett) on



"Let my lifesong…bring a smile to you." As I reflect on a journey that has been arduous, painful and trying in every way imaginable, I’m overwhelmed by all the love that’s guided my life. Love of my tribe whose patience and belief has transformed my ๐ŸŒŽ Love from friends and fans near and far and faces I've never met whose support and words means so much. Love from within that reminds me who I belong to and my purpose on earth. And love from a God whose faithfulness and goodness has carried me through immense heartache and many storms. Perhaps you've been let down or disappointed, maybe you have been rejected in some form, and others have been told the lie that you aren't enough and don't belong. Choose today to live from the abundant place that you are so loved and worthy and you won’t ever find yourself begging others for their scraps of love or acceptance. You are made without rival...no one can take you out or replace you. I love you today wherever you are and I’m on your team. ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ #BucketList #Stonehenge #TravelTheWorld #Adventure #LoveIsAllAround #LoveLivesHere #MadeForMore #RunDownYourDreams #YoureWorthIt

A post shared by Scout Bassett (@scoutbassett) on

Jarryd Wallace (one gold, one bronze, one priceless photo op) …

Arnu Fourie, South Africa's retiring track & field standout, responded with his own priceless take: “That picture is definitely going up on my wall!!! Crazy special memories!! Wow appreciate the post man, was such an honor not only sharing the track with you bit doing life together and sharing strong testimonies!! You have already done more in the sport then I could ever have, looking on with expectation how God will use your life through the sport in ways you don't even dream off. Friend for life, looking forward to host you and Lea soon in SA๐Ÿ˜‚“

Meanwhile, Wallace is back and enjoying a week off in style.

Open Season

Well-earned, the golf spotlight shines bright on Jordan Spieth. And after this past weekend, his young career reached a new height when he overcame a rocky start to his final round at the British Open to win another leg of golf’s career grand slam. Spieth also had to top fellow American, Matt Kuchar, the only U.S.-born player to win a medal at the Olympic Games in Rio, to get there. And where there’s televised sporting drama, Team USA will follow. Twitter didn’t disappoint, either, as the pairing entered the final day, which consisted of Spieth opening with a three-shot lead he wound up giving back, then completely giving away by the 13th hole after an almost comically wayward, way-right tee shot that handed Kuchar the lead. Briefly. Spieth turned things around with a finish as on point as his drive was offline at 13 with a hail of under-par holes to win the Claret Jug.

Spieth’s shaky start …


Spieth’s bogey hear ‘round the golf world …

Spieth’s turnaround one hole later …





Happy Anniversary, Part I

The Olympics have a way of forging not only indelible memories from competition and new friends from those experiences, but also lifetime bonds. The Magnificent Seven made history in winning gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games, and look back with great fondness on a magical week 21 years ago.


Happy Anniversary, Part II

One year ago remains one of the most symbolically important days in Meghan O'Leary’s life. It was during this week in 2016 Team USA was outfitted for Rio. O'Leary, for her part, has a very visible reminder to this day.

Giving Back

Team USA athletes are often giving back, and, thanks to social media, we can see this exchange between Rio Olympic golfer Lexi Thompson and a young fan at a tournament stop in Ohio.


This little girl cheered me on all day! So of course I had to give her my pink glove ๐Ÿ˜Š #socute

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

Think the exchange left a lasting impression?

Au Revoir, Paris

Fin. For three American riders, including three-time Olympian Taylor Phinney, who was once injured so badly that his ability to so much as run again was in doubt, made it to the finish line of one of sport’s most grueling endurance events, covering the relatively short 64-mile stage into Paris and along the Champs Elysees. Phinney, the son of a Tour de France stage winner and a two-sport Olympic gold medalist, can officially add this remarkable achievement to his resume.





The journey of two-time Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto has been well-chronicled in this space, but its most significant steps were taken this week.





Nearing the top of the list all by himself, longtime U.S Men’s National Soccer Team forward Clint Dempsey, while playing for Team USA in the Gold Cup semis, matched 2000 Olympian Landon Donovan for career goal-scoring this past week. Dempsey scored international goal No. 57, and Donovan, who was on hand as a broadcaster for the Gold Cup coverage, sent a classy message.


Should Dempsey take the record over for himself, Donovan’s next hope?


He's going to kill me for this when he gets older. Oh well ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿป‍โ™‚๏ธ

A post shared by Landon Donovan (@landondonovan10) on

Dear Diary

For four years now, Rio pole vault medalist Sandi Morris has been cataloging her hand-written thoughts in the same journal. Unfortunately, that journal has gone missing. And while she turned to the power of social media for a crowd-sourced search, the outcome appears to be bittersweet.




Hall Pass

This has been quite a week or so for Olympic tennis player Andy Roddick. There was the magazine tour of his Austin, Texas home, yes, but there were also two most lasting events …

And … then … this significant announcement from wife Brooklyn Decker …

A Sprint In The Woods

We leave you this week with a pretty clear indication of just how impressive an athlete Bernard Lagat is to this day. A little over a year ago, he won the 5,000 meters at the 2016 Olympic Trials, and, now, at the age of 42, is banging out sub-5.10 miles — 10 of them — in a German forest

Related Athletes

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Simone Biles

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Nathan Adrian

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Tatyana McFadden

Nordic Skiing
US Paralympics
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Scout Bassett

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Meghan O'Leary

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Taylor Phinney