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."
Happy 40th, Bode
Congratulations are in order not only for Bode Miller, who turned 40 on Oct. 12, but also his wife and everyone else involved in pulling off a fairly epic effort that appeared to bring the Olympic alpine skiing legend to tears.
Among the many, many things Team USA does well, let’s not forget how well this country’s elite athletes do gratitude. Few can tap into the struggles that come with the grind of a life spent working toward becoming the singular best at something while hundreds or thousands of the very best athletes from around the world are doing the exact same thing. So, when the opportunity comes along, Team USA rarely misses an opportunity to appreciate the good times — and the hard times, and the missed holidays and families, and the grueling workouts when no one, absolutely no one, is watching.
For Olympic alpine skier Laurenne Ross, that means a lot of gratitude from Chile …
An overwhelming feeling of joy and appreciation today surpassed every other emotion I've felt over the last 6.5 months. I could barely keep it together out there: tears welling up every run, every chair ride, every turn. After all of the darkness came a day filled with ridiculous child-like giddiness, laughter, smiles. It has been a long, excruciating journey, but I'm starting to believe that it's true...it is worth it.
National. Team. Trials. The words can hang over the heads of Team USA’s hopefuls, but, oh, to make a team. This past week, USA Bobsled & Skeleton named its women’s bobsled national team for the upcoming 2017-18 season, which included Olympic hopeful Lauren Gibbs and 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Greubel Poser. The duo whipped up this priceless video prior to heading to PyeongChang for more training …
After 10+ years of international travel, I’ve finally found my packing inspiration. Thanks, @psy. Going to Korea, baby! ✌🏼🇰🇷✨ . . . 🎶 #psy #gentleman #kpop @lagibbs84 @usabs @teamusa #lifeontheroad #athletesunfiltered #forfun #bettertogether #teamUSA #funnyvideos @onepiece #packing #travel #athletes #bobsled #wintersports #winterolympics #roadtopyeongchang
And, again, more gratitude.
What does it feel like when all your dreams come true? I'm not sure yet, but yesterday I got one step closer... I am beyond honored to be named to my 4th National Team... thank you for the continued love and support, know that all your well wishes and words of encouragement are not only crucial but they are heard! ❤️ #justgettingstarted #itsforamerica . . 📷: @mollychoma . . #olympics #olympicyear #bobsled #winter #sport #athlete #lovewhatyoudo #girlswholift #girlswithmuscle #teamwag #waglete #crossfit #crossfitgirls @teamusa @teamusa @virusintl @crossfit @workingagainstgravity @kelloggsus @lululemon @nbcolympics @espnw @espn_images @gettyimages @whoop
Overall, the team is also headlined by two-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor, along with Brittany Reinbolt, who earned the third women’s pilot spot on the team, plus Maureen Ajoku, Aja Evans, Gibbs, Briauna Jones, Kehri Jones and Lolo Jones — and a good number of their reactions via social made for internet bliss.
Congrats all- honored to be on my 11th national team! https://t.co/0RGqgdaqpA— Elana Meyers Taylor (@eamslider24) October 15, 2017
The vision’s never been clearer! Honored to be named to the 2017-2018 USA Bobsled National Team! Another step closer on my #roadtopeyonchang let’s gooooooooo! 😈 . . . . #winterolympics #olympics #olympian #roadtopeyongchang #allwinter18 #bobsled #bobsleigh #winteriscoming #peyongchang #teamUSA #roadtopeyongchang2018 photo 📸: @gettysport @penningtonphoto
Olympic hopeful Ajoku also set a record along the way …
Good day of racing with a freaking beast @elanameyerstaylor! Still early in the season but it felt good to clock the fastest push ever on this track. Thanks to @stocksthestrengthcoach and my team @theriekescenter (Tim, Juan, Richard and Wendy). Pumped for round 2 tomorrow morning with @vogt4nic 😤 . #teamtrials #pushtostart #letsgo @usabs
And, just like that, they’re off …
Eyes on 🇰🇷. After 2 great races in Lake Placid for Team Trials, I am packing up and heading to PyeongChang for the International Training Week! Can’t wait to spend some more time on the Olympic track!! ✨ . . . 📸 by the extremely talented @mollychoma 💕 #bobsled @teamusa @usabs #roadtopyeongchang #wintersports #winterOlympics
Don’t Forget These Guys
Team USA’s men, on the other hand, are baaaaaccccckkkk …
The Skeleton Crew
USA Skeleton also named its national team this past week, with a dozen athletes taking another step toward PyeongChang, including 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Matt Antoine and the now un-retired John Daly, who finds himself on a comeback trail he hopes leads to his third Olympic Winter Games …
Today I was named USA 1. It’s been a long road back and still a long way to go, but this is the first step to achieving my ultimate goal. Thank you for the support. . . . . . .📸 @mollychoma #teamusa #itsforamerica #athelete #skeleton #training #focus #spandex #racing #iceicebaby #💪🏼 #america #winterolympics2018 #winterolympics
The week also brought with it some bittersweetness for Daly and Antoine, who had trained and raced for years with Kyle Tress, who himself announced his retirement after 16 years this past week.
. @KyleTress gave @MattAntoine and I the honor of brining his sled to the line for one last run. You have made an impact on all sliding sports, and me. You’re a great slider, teammate, and one of my best friends. The track is clear! pic.twitter.com/uKzSz9Tgct— John Daly (@JohnDalyUSA) October 18, 2017
Being your friend and teammate has been one of the great joys of my life. Last night was another great memory in a career full of them!— Kyle Tress (@KyleTress) October 18, 2017
And if you can set yourself into what it means to be teammates on a small crew that races in the often far-flung and most wintry of places — the long road trips, stuffing gear into small vans in frigid weather, waking up at all hours to travel to the next remote European stop or taking up residence in Lake Placid, New York, all chasing precious Olympic dreams — you can almost feel all that goes into these two priceless hugs that marked a final ride.
Thank you for 16 incredible years. It wouldn’t have happened without these guys. One of the most special moments of my life.— Kyle Tress (@KyleTress) October 18, 2017
Big Deal In The Big Apple
Here’s one way to slow down Paralympic legend Tatyana McFadden, who, after winning another Chicago Marathon a few weeks ago, will soon be racing in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 5 …
There will not be a repeat champion in Major League Baseball. On Thursday night, the Dodgers advanced past the Cubs in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-1 series win — with Chicago’s lone win in the series coming on a start by the Beijing Games bronze medalist Jake Arrieta. Arrieta did what he could. So, too, did Olympic basketball champion and 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne, who certainly got into the spirit of things as the series was underway …
Best day of the year at the Johnson East house?
Simply The Best
Established in 1974, the Women's Sports Foundation continues to play a positive role in so many athletes’ lives. This past week, the foundation held a start-studded gala, the Women’s Sports Foundation Annual Salute to Women in Sports, which brought together so many talented Team USA athletes who helped fill some timelines with thoughtful posts and photos from the event.
What a night! Thank you to everyone for making the 38th #WSFAnnualSalute to Women in Sports such a success, especially to our co-hosts Julie Foudy and Jessica Mendoza and to our National Partners Chevrolet, espnW, Fox Networks Group, Gatorade and NBC Sports Group. The evening honored four phenomenal individuals for their exceptional performances, significant contributions, outstanding leadership and inspiring achievements in sports. Congratulations to our 2017 award recipients: Team Sportswoman of the Year: Maya Moore, Basketball, USA Individual Sportswoman of the Year: Katie Ledecky, Swimming, USA Billie Jean King Leadership Award: Condoleezza Rice, PhD Wilma Rudolph Courage Award: The 2017 United Sates Women’s National Hockey Team Special Tribute: Coach Tara VanDerveer Read more about the night through the link in our bio >> [Photo Credit: Michael Loccisano and Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for the Women In Sports Foundation]
Thanks @womenssportsfdn for all you do to advance women’s and girls’ sports.— Katie Ledecky (@katieledecky) October 19, 2017
’Tis The Season
Too early for Halloween? Not so, says six-time Paralympic swimming medalist Becca Meyers.
On Edge In Switzerland
When you’re an Olympic silver medalist freeskier, balance comes in handy. Particularly where Gus Kenworthy was exploring in and around and above Zurich.
Over the summer, one of the bigger NBA free agent pick-ups was Boston acquisition of Gordon Hayward, but, when he suffered a gruesome leg injury only a few minutes into the league’s season, Twitter lit up with reaction to the play. Perhaps the most poignant, though, came from the two-time Olympic gold medalist and now retired Kobe Bryant:
Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real. You will be angry and wish for the day back, the game back THAT play back. But reality gives nothing back and nor should you. Time to move on and focus on doing everything in your power to prepare for surgery, ask all the questions to be sure you understand fully the procedure so that you may visualize it in your subconscious while being operated on and better the chance of it’s success. Then focus on the recovery process day by day by day. It’s a long journey but if you focus on the mini milestones along the way you will find beauty in the struggle of doing simple things that prior to this injury were taken for granted. This will also mean that when you return you will have a new perspective. You will be so appreciative of being able to stand, walk, run that you will train harder than you ever have. You see the belief within you grow with each mini milestone and you will come back a better player for it. Best of luck to you on this journey my brother #mambamentality always.
I can't believe I saw that !!!— Brittney Reese (@DaLJBeast) October 18, 2017
Never like to see that. Best wishes to @gordonhayward— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) October 18, 2017
Praying for my guy @gordonhayward!!! NEVER want to see any of the guys go through anything like that.— DeAndre Jordan (@DeAndre) October 18, 2017
Prayers for @gordonhayward 🙏🏽Never want to see an injury like that.— Charlie Davies (@CharlieDavies9) October 18, 2017
That was horrible. To work so hard and have such an unpredictable and devestating injury. Hoping for a full recovery— Tumua Anae Tavana (@tumua_AnEye) October 18, 2017
Noooo!!! Thoughts and prayers for Gordon Hayward!— Lindsay Whalen (@Lindsay_13) October 18, 2017
Kudos to Olympic bronze medalist steeplechaser Emma Coburn, who went quite the distance in getting married this past week in Hawaii.
Next up in the wedding walk?
Just a couple of the fastest humans in history. And … “Yup! …”