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Red, White & Trending: April 28-May 4

By Jamie MacDonald | May 05, 2017, 8:28 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."


Now, Shaun White’s Heart Is Famous, Too

If you weren’t someone who helped Jimmy Kimmel Live earn more than 8.3 million YouTube views for an emotional opening monologue detailing the very scary story of his newborn son’s birth, which led to open heart surgery at only three days old because of a heart disease, you can keep up with a postscript featuring a very famous Team USA athlete. As it turns out, snowboarding legend and Olympic champion Shaun White’s birth story, thanks to suffering from the same heart disease, is very similar to that of Kimmel’s son. The 2018 Olympic hopeful, after driving in from Mammoth, California, joined Kimmel this past week to put the talk show host at ease. Kimmel, while cracking about the concerns that his young son might now grow up as a snowboarder, certainly appeared to appreciate White’s heartfelt and positive words.

Toward the end of the segment, White also hints that while he is of course setting his sights on PeyongChang after a disappointing Sochi Games, he may also have 2020 in mind. Yes, 2020. For skateboarding.

Primetime Lineup

Jane … meets … her … ultimate … match. Former Olympic judoka Ronda Rousey, who competed at the 2004 Athens Games and earned a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games, took her talents to primetime, trading a few punches (and kicks) in this past Wednesday’s episode of "Blindspot."


Quick promo for my @nbcblindspot guest appearance airing this Wednesday, May 3rd at 8pm/7c on @NBC

A post shared by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on

The above video earned more than 590,000 views, and the appearance also landed Rousey her starring role in a Wednesday takeover of NBC’s Instagram, leading to some excellent photo ops.



"Devon and Zapata with our amazing director Dermott Downs." - @rondarousey #Blindspot

A post shared by NBC (@nbc) on


May … The … Fourth

Calling all Star Wars nerds. Attention: Calling all Star Wars nerds. It’s May, the 4th …






Off. Season.

After wrapping up his season this past month with Team USA overseas, U.S. champion figure skating Jason Brown has earned some downtime. And he’s certainly making the most of it. After spending some time in Hawaii and making his mark on the Team USA promo shoot in California, there arrives this backpacking-trip-of-a-lifetime through the Philippines with his sister …



Epic Trip

Also traveling these days, we find one of Team USA’s busiest moms-to-be, Paratriathlon medalist Melissa Stockwell.

After only a few days on the road, however, this might be her best pic …

Off To Work We Go

On the other hand, spring also marks merely a beginning. For so many Team USA athletes, particularly in an Olympic year, this time of year means the hard work starts … now.



Gala Glam

Along with a constellation of famous stars in town for “fashion’s biggest night out,” tennis legend and Olympic champion Serena Williams rocked the Met Gala, from prep to dress to wrap. Game, set, match.



Become one with the #metball at night. @versace_official @donatella_versace gown

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on




Thanks @newyorkpalace for an unforgettable stay. Until next timeโค๏ธ #lottenewyorkpalace

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

With the help of 5.7 million followers on Instagram, the three posts above earned more than a million views.

Photo Ops O’Plenty

Team USA is ready for its close-up. Over the past week or so, as preparation for NBC’s coverage of the upcoming Olympic Winter Games, Team USA athletes have been participating in a hail of media shoots that have involved everything from competition gear to puppies. And goats. And kittens. Here, a second round of highlights from the past week, featuring figure skaters, skiers, snowboarders and sliders.


The best thing to come out of today๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ #CHUNK @nbcolympics

A post shared by Nathan Chen (@nathanwchen) on



I told him, "Babe, you're so great!" He said, "Nahhh, baby! I'm the GOAT!" ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ #winterolympics #AKCK #Nbc

A post shared by Alexa Knierim (@alexa_knierim) on



It's a Winter Wonderland! โ„๏ธ #pyeongchang2018 #winterolympics #teamusa

A post shared by Mirai Nagasu (@mirainagasu) on








Generation Next

Prior to the naming of the 2017-18 U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team, 42 of the most talented players in the country gathered in Tampa, Florida, for the U.S. Women’s National Team Selection Camp, including eight two-time Olympians. The eldest of the lot, among six goaltenders was 31-year-old Jessie Vetter. Making her tryout appearance even more impressive was the fact that Vetter gave birth to her first child only two months ago. While in Tampa, Vetter’s mom posted this beauty:

Dad eventually joined the crew, too …


Hockey Around The World

While we’re on the topic of hockey, this is also IIHF Men's World Championship season. This year’s tournament will take place May 5-21 in Cologne, Germany, and Team USA will be captained by Connor Murphy, who has played 38 games for Team USA. Get to know him here:

All Write Now

We can now welcome Olympic and Women's World Cup champion Julie Foudy to the ranks of Team USA authors. Let her remind you.

The Team USA feedback has been pretty good, too …





Parting Thought

For a dose of inspiration …

Hunter Woodhall’s self-professed “spirit animal,” according to an Instagram comment, as it turns out, is Paralympic track star Scout Bassett. Have a look at her post below to see why.


New endeavors and continued blessings โœจ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Less than 2 years ago, I left an incredible job, traded one home/life for a new one to follow a dream that seemed improbable. I had nothing but a relentless worth ethic, passion to make my mark on this world and a determination and will that couldn't be matched. To tell you that I’ve struggled wouldn't be purely authentic and real. I have been defeated. I have failed. I have hurt and suffered. I have felt unworthy and broken and I've even questioned my purpose. But by the grace of God and my all-in tribe, I have also triumphed and overcome. Standing here among 2,000 yrs of history, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to be living this lifetime dream. I’m not wealthy and I haven't accomplished all that I've wanted to, but I've never felt more rich in experience, in love and joy, in growth, in hope and in courage and strength. Our lives are not determined by what life brings us, but rather by the attitude we bring to life. Some of you may be looking at dreams that feel entirely out of reach. You’re worn down and drained by life’s demands and challenges. Perhaps you’re in a season of despair and discouragement. Maybe you've endured a lifetime of hardship or you're fighting battles no one knows about. And others are coping with heart-wrenching loss and deep pain in your soul. If you’re reading this, I hope you realize how strong and beautiful you truly are. The potential you have in life and how your mega heart impacts other lives. The world needs your love, your light and your resilience. Do not quit now. I believe in you and I know you've got what it takes. I love you today wherever you are and I'm on your team. ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ #NeverGiveIn #MadeForMore #RunDownYourDreams #YoureWorthIt #Adventure #TravelTheWorld #IShouldWriteABlogNotInstagramNovels #MyBad #Mexico

A post shared by Scout Bassett (@scoutbassett) on

Related Athletes

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Shaun White

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Serena Williams

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Hunter Woodhall

Track and Field
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Scout Bassett