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."
Las Vegas On Team USA's Minds
Tragedy rocked yet another American city this past week, and, again, Team USA was affected not only in their thoughts and prayers, but also personally when an armed gunman opened fire on an outdoor concert venue on the Las Vegas strip. Olympic silver medalist pole vaulter Sandi Morris happened to be attending a show not far from the outdoor venue. Paralympic snowboarding star Amy Purdy was born in Las Vegas. Two-time Olympic swimming medalist Cody Miller attended high school in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Olympic tennis champion and Las Vegas-born Andre Agassi, who remains a force in giving back as a resident in the area, voiced a powerful #VegasSTRONG video message …
I honestly still can't fathom people were being brutally murdered right across the street while I was just sitting there watching a show...— Sandi Morris (@sandicheekspv) October 2, 2017
Praying for my hometown right now. Family is safe, still hearing from friends. #LasVegasShooting 🙏🙏🙏— Amy Purdy (@AmyPurdyGurl) October 2, 2017
Thoughts & prayers to my city Las Vegas🖤— Cody Miller (@swimiller) October 2, 2017
From afar, Team USA offered words of support for Las Vegas and those whose worlds so quickly changed in the horrors of Sunday night …
Devastating news from Las Vegas. We're heartbroken for the victims and their families.— ShibSibs (@ShibSibs) October 2, 2017
There are no words to express this devastating news . My prayers go to the victims in Vegas and their families.— Dana Vollmer (@danavollmer) October 2, 2017
Thinking of the victims and their loved ones in Las Vegas. We are grieving with you.— Sloane Stephens (@SloaneStephens) October 3, 2017
Heartbreaking to hear about the Vegas shooting. My prayers go out to the victims, their families and the first responders #PrayForVegas— bubba watson (@bubbawatson) October 2, 2017
Sending love and thoughts toward all the victims and families involved in the Vegas shooting 🙏🏼❤️— Torin Yater-Wallace (@TorinWallace) October 2, 2017
My heart breaks for Las Vegas and those affected by this tragedy.— Ashley Wagner (@AshWagner2010) October 2, 2017
Leave it to Melissa Stockwell, a two-time Paralympian and paratriathlon world champion who is also a Purple Heart and bronze star recipient, to try putting a positive spin on what the future might hold.
Olympic alpine skiing champion Lindsey Vonn offers her take on the future, too.
A Brand New Year
This week marked the kick-off to the sliding season that will help determine the Olympic team Team USA sends to the picturesque track in PyeongChang for the Olympic Winter Games — which seems like a pretty good time for Sochi bobsled bronze medalist Jamie Greubel Poser to break out her behind-the-scenes-tour skills for Lake Placid’s own picturesque track in the fall splendor of the Adirondack Mountains.
🆂🆄🅸🆃 🆄🅿: day 1 of sliding of the Olympic season. Excited for our first National Team Selection race in 3 days... weather permitting 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/TGY5YwPyu9— Lauren Gibbs (@lagibbs84) October 4, 2017
Bobsledders had a pretty good week overall, too. In addition to the first runs of the season, they also entertained a few guests who are also fairly well known for their work on the ice.
Oh, yes, and there was also a back-and-forth with William Shatner.
🤔 Let me think about it. You may get a visit. 😝 https://t.co/PQlYVlZAW2— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) October 3, 2017
Hahaha @WilliamShatner I think you should come hang out with us!— Lauren Gibbs (@lagibbs84) October 3, 2017
For so many Olympians and Paralympians, one of the most lasting and visible rewards for all of the hard work that went into earning those appearances on the world’s biggest sporting stage becomes a tattoo. Welcome to the club, Rio Olympic golfer Lexi Thompson.
For an indication of just how important these trips down the mountain are to three-time Olympian Steven Nyman, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in February, the alpine skier picked up more than 10,000 views from his 24,000 or so followers.
Two-time Paralympic swimmer and gold medalist Mallory Weggemann offers some of the most heartfelt of social posts, and this past week’s serves as a letter of appreciation for her sport.
Having my swimming taken away from me this past year has been almost unbearable, but every day I have taken #BabySteps to get my body strong enough for this, my return to the water. Friday was my first day back in and today I returned for round 2. For 15 minutes it was just me, the water and the black line, although short it felt amazing to finally be back home again. That black line is where I learned how to live again following my paralysis, it is where I have turned in the greatest of heartbreaks, it is what gave me hope again after my arm injury and while I have been away from it for a year I have woken up every day and fought for that very line. This journey back in the water will be slow, the baby steps will be small to start but I will forever fight for that black line because I am far from done. #FightForWhatYouLove #NotDoneYet #RedefineLimitations
Whatever happened to Olympic gymnastics champion Shawn Johnson East, it isn’t going to keep her from dancing.
Seems she’s having more than a little fun these days …
You may already have heard that Olympians Meghan O'Leary and Ellen Tomek ended a nearly 30-year-old medal drought at the World Rowing Championships, but a silver in Sarasota, Florida, this past week continues to mean a great deal to the pair that began racing together in 2013 and were the oldest racers in the double sculls finale.
Congratulations to Meghan & Ellen for achieving the highest-ever finish for the women's double sculls in U.S. World Championship history 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/oh2lnlBRLz— USRowing (@usrowing) October 1, 2017
Olympic rower Megan Kalmoe, who earned her own silver in the women's pair, managed to celebrate, too.
Cheers Sarasota 🥂 I found my way up in to the finish line tower at the end of the regatta and snuck a splash of champagne to celebrate a tremendous effort by all the organizers, staff and volunteers who worked so hard to put on this amazing event for all of us. What a great start to the 2020 quadrennium, with so many exciting performances and "surprise packages" throughout the week. This is my tenth senior team appearance, and @wrch2017 was right on par with an Olympic-level experience. So pleased to have been able to race in front of a home crowd to cap off a decade of representing my country with Team USA. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 Congrats to the USA W2X and on their historic silver today, and to the USA M8+. Well done all! Now for a quick vacation....and then: back to work. Peace. ✌🏼
For her star turn in the spotlight, Olympic gymnastics champion Aly Raisman looked for some fashion inspiration before delivering some of her own inspiration in Boston.
Bestie and fellow Olympic gymnastics champion Laurie Hernandez chimed in with a rave review.
ohmygod you're so cute. love my grandma🤶🏼 https://t.co/pF6JmBGijR— Laurie Hernandez ➶ (@lzhernandez02) October 3, 2017
And that outfit in action:
Congratulations are in order for a pair of Team USA Olympians whose alma maters honored their careers this past week. For three-time Olympic hurdle star and bronze medalist Tonja Buford-Bailey, that meant a spot in the inaugural class of the University of Illinois Hall of Fame.
A few days shy of her 31st birthday, two-time Olympic volleyball medalist Jordan Larson and Huskers great saw her jersey raised to the rafters in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Above The Clouds
Olympic gold and two-time Olympic bronze medalist Kelly Clark spent a good chunk of her September in New Zealand, and October is looking up, too — up to and through the clouds.
’Tis The Season
Ponder this age-old question as the countdown is on (at least in the mind of Olympic sprinter and gold medalist Morolake Akinosun) …
Serious question.— Morolake Akinosun™ (@MsFastTwitch) October 4, 2017
When is it appropriate to start playing/listening to Christmas music?