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Red, White & Trending: May 5-11

By Jamie MacDonald | May 12, 2017, 3:32 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 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."


Early Mother’s Day

For the second time in as many months, we find out a decorated Olympian has come away from competition with some hardware while pregnant. Last month, it was tennis legend and Olympic champion Serena Williams. This month, it’s the most decorated fencer in United States history, four-time Olympian Mariel Zagunis, who won gold in 2004 and 2008. Zagunis, who would go on to serve as flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony in London and earn a team bronze in Rio, earned a bronze medal at a world cup event in March.

Though a four-time Olympian with her eyes still on Tokyo in 2020, Zagunis went the contemporary route to make her announcement on social media.

On the other hand, there’s Olympic beach volleyball silver medalist Jennifer Kessy, who about a week ago was ”40.5 weeks pregnant” and enduring 90-degree heat. More impressive? She’s committing to cloth diapers without a clothesline.

To turn up the awwwww factor, here are a few shots from Kessy’s first days as a mother of two.


Olympic silver medalist gymnast Chellsie Memmel has an announcement, too …


One More Announcement …

In a week full of announcements made via social media, Olympic champion swimmer Nathan Adrian also announced his engagement.


Running For Two

Rio triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen’s August due date is approaching, but it’s not going to keep her from running farther than most will in a month. The night before the run, she’d pondered expectations, but the former collegiate runner still has a good deal of speed while running for two.

Overall, Jorgensen’s pretty good week also included a baby shower (along with a pregnancy milestone, of sorts).




Boomer’s Birthday

… From a mom-to-be to a new mom in Nicole Phelps, followers of Michael Phelps’ wife were treated to a fun run of image capturing the first birthday happenings of the couple’s son Boomer. Considering his dad is a swimming legend who probably made opponents nervous while they were in the water, perhaps the shark theme is an appropriate one.


I can't get over Boomers cake... Haley you're amazing 🙌🏼 @heartsweetcakes .... this is all HANDMADE 😳

A post shared by Nicole Michele Phelps (@mrs.nicolephelps) on



Happy First Shark Attack Birthday Boomer 😍🍰🦈 @heartsweetcakes I think he approved...Nice work!!

A post shared by Nicole Michele Phelps (@mrs.nicolephelps) on



First bday party for @boomerrphelps !!! What an amazing birthday cake!!!@heartsweetcakes

A post shared by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on



What is the strangest thing you’ve seen today? Olympic pole vault champion Jenn Suhr may have your answer.


Can He Hang? Sorta

Skateboarding star Paul Rodriguez‏ recently met up with Allyson Felix as part of a video series that ponders the question of “Can I hang?” with the six-time Olympic champion sprinter’s training regimen.

For an indication of how things go, the conversation at one good-natured point went like this:

Felix: Are you feeling better?

Rodriguez‏: No.

In all, Felix puts Rodriguez‏ through some of her paces and clearly enjoyed the “exercise” on what is quite literally her home track in Southern California.

Whether Rodriguez‏ could do this is also in question …


Broken But Not … Broken

How tough are Olympians? Keni Harrison, author of one of the great “reax” video shots after learning she’d set a new world record in the 100-meter hurdles this past July, also had a pretty good reaction to breaking her hand this past week: she went out and won.

Harrison, fresh off her win at the Drake Relays in April, was in Doha for a Diamond League meet during which she broke her hand during a warmup run. So, she won the race and then went to the hospital.

Well, she’s back at it … in the days before undergoing surgery.



Wedding Bells For Jones

Congratulations are in order for four-time Olympian medalist swimmer Cullen Jones, who tied the knot this past week … and proved he was pretty good with a dip, too.




A post shared by Cullen Jones (@cullenjones) on


Wedding Countdown

In bride-to-be news, Olympic figure skating champion Tara Lipinski told People magazine, “It was a wedding pregame!” when she and her fiancé chose a bachelor/bachelorette getaway this past week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.



Somewhat patiently waiting for a treat from Santos. #LipinskiInLove #ToddInTrouble #VivaLaTNT #partner #homeaway

A post shared by Tara Lipinski (@taralipinski) on



The whole gang. #VivaLaTNT #LipinskiInLove #partner #homeaway #bachelor-ette

A post shared by Tara Lipinski (@taralipinski) on



Queen Of Speed

How fast is Olympic hurdler Queen Harrison? For starters, she’ll race folks without hurdling anything:


Endless … Winter

While some winters hang around too long, the idea of May skiing and boarding does hold some charm for so many winter Olympic athletes.

Olympic gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg is having a pretty big (and small) week.


Slopestyle Olympic medalist Nick Goepper hit the knuck, too …

And … this … is … mesmerizing …


Big Ups

No snow, no water ramp, no problem for two-time Olympic aerial skier Ashley Caldwell.

Caldwell was a headliner among 38 Team USA athletes who learned this past week they were nominees to represent the United States in moguls and aerials next season.


Into The Wild Blue Yonder

Two-time Olympic ice hockey goaltender Brianne McLaughlin has quite an event in store this week, as she’ll take the ride of a lifetime, climbing high into the sun, with the elite flying force that is the Air Force Thunderbirds.

RIP, Holcy

The passing of Steven Holcomb, the three-time Olympian who piloted Team USA to a four-man bobsled gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010 and earned two bronze medals in Sochi, hit Team USA understandably hard. In the minutes, hours and days that followed, so many athletes shared their raw emotions on social channels in the aftermath of the news. Beyond the medals, Holcomb's impact on the athletes he met along the way is significant.








































I love you. I don't have the words yet, but thank you for all of the prayers, messages, and calls.

A post shared by Katie Eberling (@katieeberling) on








So many special memories shared with our friend. Steve, you will be dearly missed.

A post shared by Steven Langton (@stevenlangton) on




Related Athletes

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Steven Holcomb

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Jennifer Kessy

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Chellsie Memmel

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Nathan Adrian

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Gwen Jorgensen

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Michael Phelps

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Allyson Felix

Track and Field
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Cullen Jones