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.
Who needs a #clothingline when you have a pool fence? Nothing better to sanitize then the sun. I know disposable #diapers are easy but truly, cloth diapers are not that difficult. Our babies and earth are worth a couple extra minutes a day, not to mention the money you save and no late night runs to store to get diapers. #clothdiapers #gogreen #momlife #reducereuserecyle
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 …
Kory, Dashel, and I are thrilled to announce our family is growing by one!! Big brother duty begins in November! pic.twitter.com/3SIU6kPl8e— Chellsie Memmel (@CMemmel) May 9, 2017
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).
PDX-LAX pic.twitter.com/H8EiDUgXU9— Pat Lemieux (@patlemieux) May 10, 2017
Smiling bc this is the last trip dr will let me take before my no fly date 🙌🤰🏻👶🏻 https://t.co/mdwbBttffS— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) May 10, 2017
… 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.
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?
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 …
🏃🏽♀️🏃🏽♀️ pic.twitter.com/vvQOeWwCi9— Allyson Felix (@allysonfelix) May 10, 2017
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.
I thought @TrackKentucky was touching my fingers because he was worried about my injury...he was just seeing what workout I can do tomorrow🙄— Keni Harrison (@Ken_AYE_) May 7, 2017
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.
What an amazing week, To all my friends and family from the deepest part of my heart THANK YOU. Rupi and I are overwhelmed with the love and support you gave us as we celebrate our first steps as husband and wife. For those who could not make it, know you were missed and we know you were here in spirit.@rupi_d #DEStinationJONES
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.
Queen Of Speed
How fast is Olympic hurdler Queen Harrison? For starters, she’ll race folks without hurdling anything:
Keeping Up With the Sprint-ashians.— Queen Harrison (@goQueengo) May 6, 2017
Episode 101: Queen decides she wants a shot at being part of the "sprint crew". Will she make the cut? pic.twitter.com/SMG2nkDmKh
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.
When it's too windy to hit the jump, you hit the knuck! pic.twitter.com/7mKWBYJqEg— sage kotsenburg (@sagekotsenburg) May 6, 2017
Slopestyle Olympic medalist Nick Goepper hit the knuck, too …
And … this … is … mesmerizing …
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.
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.
Steve Holcomb-- A strong and humble man, very much loved and very much missed. https://t.co/LVYWdbJO7g— Scott Blackmun (@ScottBlackmun) May 7, 2017
Super sad to hear about my Olympic teammate and former Park City Ski Team teammate @StevenHolcomb passing. Just saw him last week 😢 RIP— Steven Nyman (@Steven_Nyman) May 7, 2017
Not only shocked but saddened. Wow this just plain sucks. Steve was a great competitor and guy all of us that had... https://t.co/I7c80LybQL— Jon Lujan (@JonnyVolcano44) May 6, 2017
I'm deeply saddened to have gotten the news about Steve Holcomb. Steve was an incredible competitor and a great... https://t.co/PShHgqs9Mh— Andrew Weibrecht (@a_weibrecht) May 6, 2017
Heartbreaking news. My heart goes out to everyone in the bobsled community and Steve's family. A great soul gone too soon. https://t.co/Hsjrg90Omz— Mac Bohonnon (@MacBohonnon) May 6, 2017
Rest In Peace my friend. Such a good person and will be missed dearly by many https://t.co/cEwSwo3R8l— sage kotsenburg (@sagekotsenburg) May 6, 2017
My heart goes out to the family & friends of @StevenHolcomb. I’m in total shock right now. Gone too too soon. Prayers up 🙏🏾— Lex Gillette (@LexGillette) May 6, 2017
Incredibly sad to hear about the passing of @StevenHolcomb. Deepest sympathies go out to his loved ones. Way to young.— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) May 6, 2017
I'm crushed to hear about the loss of Steve Holcomb. He helped me to feel at home amidst the whirlwind of the Olympics. Rest in peace. https://t.co/o4O5AHweMu— Ben Agosto (@Ben_Agosto) May 7, 2017
Steve was one of the first people I met in Sochi. He was so nice to me; that meant a lot. So sad that he's gone. 😔 https://t.co/CKLmopeVsY— Maia Shibutani (@MaiaShibutani) May 6, 2017
So sad. Rest in peace, Steve. https://t.co/V8fCjxX2T5— Alex Shibutani (@AlexShibutani) May 6, 2017
Deeply saddened by the news of Steve's passing. It was an honor to have met you. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. https://t.co/5spKdsUuWK— Marissa Castelli (@MarissaCastelli) May 7, 2017
Shocked to hear this sad news, best wishes to Steven's friends, family and teammates. https://t.co/jeopaYAkOA— Bryan Fletcher (@SkiFletch) May 6, 2017
RIP Steven Holcomb Olympic champion had a great sense of Humor always enjoyed when I got to spend time with him— MIKE ERUZIONE (@MERUZIONE) May 7, 2017
My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and teammates. An amazing talent and inspiration for all. https://t.co/AXpVpkTKGv— Monique Lamoureux-M (@moniquelam7) May 6, 2017
Thoughts and prayers with Steven's family, friends and teammates during this sad time. https://t.co/Z0MXlggCTf— Jocelyne Lamoureux-D (@JocelyneUSA17) May 6, 2017
We lost an incredible man. Soft spoken, kind and a great representative of our Team USA family. Blessed to have known him We will miss him❤️ https://t.co/mkknTQJ9nL— Julie Chu (@juliechu13) May 7, 2017
Rest In Peace Superman. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Steven's family, friends, and teammates. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZQ2qmxUm0I— Meghan Duggan (@mduggan10) May 10, 2017
Yesterday I lost one of my best friends... he was so much more than just an Olympic Champion. He was the kindest, most caring, humble man, a true ambassador for our country, and I was lucky to have him there for the last 15 years of my life as truly one of my closest friends. He affected many, created a legacy, and I will miss him
So incredibly saddened by this. We'll miss you Steve, but know that you'll still be with us on the hill. https://t.co/kAzKsfv2XG— Matt Antoine (@MattAntoine) May 6, 2017
Still no words. Life is way to short. You will be missed, Steve.— morgan (@morgangtracey) May 7, 2017
My heart is with the bobsled community today. #RIPSteveHolcomb— Jayson Terdiman (@jterdimanUSA) May 6, 2017
@StevenHolcomb I'm going to miss you so much buddy. You were a true friend and champion.— Kyle Tress (@KyleTress) May 7, 2017
Still remember laughing with you in Korea. RIP @StevenHolcomb— John Daly (@JohnDalyUSA) May 7, 2017
I'll never forget how I watched you pound 15 vitamins a day like it was nbd. We already miss you. https://t.co/smRYbGJKvR— Kate Hansen (@k8ertotz) May 6, 2017
All sliders loved Steve Holcomb like a brother. We are saddened by the sudden loss, but regale in the person he was & his achievements. RIP.— USA Luge (@USA_Luge) May 7, 2017
My heart is with the bobsled community today. #RIPSteveHolcomb— Jayson Terdiman (@jterdimanUSA) May 6, 2017
This is a blog I wrote about Steve Holcomb back in 2013 and his importance in my life has only grown since then.... https://t.co/Z4P8X9mxUT— Elana Meyers Taylor (@eamslider24) May 7, 2017
Over the weekend @usabs lost a legend, teammate & friend. For the past 6 years, I've watched Steve lead with his quiet, calm & consistent presence. He loved our sport and his drive to be succeed never waned. It was an honor to call him a teammate. Bobsled will be different without you @stevenholcomb.
I'm crushed right now!!! pic.twitter.com/pIpKJcKK8J— Sam McGuffie (@sam_mcguffie) May 6, 2017
Absolutely shocked with the passing of one of my teammates. A legend in the sport of bobsled and an even better... https://t.co/T7fIC1fKJL— Nick Cunningham (@BOBSLEDR) May 6, 2017
My heart is so heavy right now. You were a great teammate and became a great friend and brother. I am so honored to have known you pic.twitter.com/owtcie0xAE— Carlo Valdes (@CarloValdes_USA) May 6, 2017