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."
'pregnancy + heartbreak'
As Andrew East pointed out in a post previewing one of the most raw and emotional videos you’ll see, this chapter of his life with his wife, Olympic champion gymnast Shawn Johnson East, does not have a happy ending. That it struck a nerve with so many of their fans is natural, but the video took off quickly. Rarely has this story — one shared by millions of people around the world — been told in what feels like real time. And with an honesty that had viewers about as close as it gets to feeling the very real emotions along the way. It’s a long video, yes, but it has also been viewed over 2 million times — more than 300,000 in the first day, up to 800,000 in the second — with good reason.
The Easts managed, however, to enjoy a typical fall activity …
Two-time Olympic long track speedskater Lauren Isaac (née Cholewinski), who has been posting great Halloween pics every year dating back to 2014, including a vomiting pumpkin in 2015 and beautifully crafted eggs in 2016, is back at it again.
Figure skating Olympic hopefuls Alexa Scimeca Knierim and husband Chris Knierim were getting into the act early, too.
Eagles Have Landed
With a little over 100 days remaining until the Opening Ceremony in PyeongChang, the Olympic Winter Games are becoming that much closer to a reality for Team USA’s hopefuls. That's especially the case for some of this country’s best sliders, who are getting an up-close look at the facilities that could make or break the dreams they’ve had for years.
Take it away, Greg West …
This trip is especially worthwhile for Olympic bobsledder Jamie Greubel Poser, whose husband is German bobsledder Christian Poser.
Lucky to have this guy by my side as we both go after our dreams of competing in our second Olympics. Finally reunited in Korea after 5 months apart as we were both preparing to be the best we can be going into Olympic year. . . . #roadtopyeongchang #bettertogether #husband #Olympians #athletes #love #wintersports #winterOlympics #bobsled #sliding2pc18 @teamusa @usabs @sportdeutschland
Still, Greubel Poser is sticking with her lucky crew, too.
Having a great time in PyeongChang with this crew! Working hard at the track, having fun and eating our way through every restaurant near our hotel. 😁🇰🇷🍜✌🏼 . . . #bobsled @teamusa @usabs #roadtopyeongchang #🇰🇷 #southkorea #wintersports #winterOlympics #athletes #womenofwinter #koreanfood #koreanbbq #soups #allthesides #kimchi #fishcake
… and a few slices of life on the road …
NO DAYS OFF! Ok I just lied, I definitely take days off, but still a cool pic of #teamusa getting in the work on the road. . . . . . . . #focused #train #gains #weight #work #team #usa #merica #itsforamerica #winterolympics2018 #winterolympics #squats #squad #squadgoals #athlete #athletes #athletelife #noexcuses
And a noir look at the track …
Bruised But Not Broken
For the second time in as many months, snowboarding star Shaun White suffered a gnarly injury during training in New Zealand ... and shared it on Instagram. In September, it was an X-Ray post. Now, this …
I’ve always lived my life by pushing the limits. Winning is great, but it’s the tough times that truly define you. I took a slam while training the other day, but don’t worry I’ll be back soon and better than ever!! Thanks @beatsbydre for bringing me into the family. #NormalisBoring #1of1 #RockNRoll
After competing at the World Archery Championships in Mexico City, two-time Olympic silver medalist Jake Kaminski made the most of some leisure time with a priceless side trip.
I’m glad I took the chance to see the Teotihuacán pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon while here in Mexico City for the World Championships. Rarely do we get time to see any of the sites at a nearby area when competing abroad like this. Glad we got their right when it opened and enjoyed the sights before the masses arrived. #mexico #teotihuacan #pyramid #mexicocity
Home, Sweet Home
The story of Olympic distance runner Meb Keflezighi’s coming to the United States is known to many, but this priceless picture is worth well more than a thousand words on an incredible journey.
Wondering what fills the headspace of Team USA’s elite athletes? Have a look at the response of one of Team USA’s most versatile track stars, Olympic sprinter and long jump champion Tianna Bartoletta, to this: “My question is, with all the events that u participate in, which is ur favorite and why” …
It’s hard to choose a fave. BUT i do love the challenge of the 100m dash, it’s not a natural fit for me. So when I run well it’s incredible. https://t.co/vQR2AeT5Cm— Tianna T. Bartoletta (@tibartoletta) October 22, 2017
Yes, one of Bartoletta’s great joys is succeeding where it’s most difficult for her to do so.
It’s coming. Yes, winter is coming. Right here in the United States, too, where snow has fallen in Minnesota, Lake Tahoe and in Colorado.
Olympic alpine skier Travis Ganong does a great job of revealing the signs of winter from his Tahoe-area backyard …
Paralympic snowboarding bronze medalist Keith Gabel, meanwhile, checks in from Aspen …
#grateful that I got to go mountain biking yesterday. This morning I woke up to this little dusting of white stuff. It's not much but stoked to see some on the ground. Now all we need is about 3 more feet... . . . #winteriscoming #lovethelifeyoulive #optoutside #snowday #gratitude #feedthesoul #colorado #mountainlife #aspen #fallorado #dusting #nobaddays #tooblessedtobestressed
Crab Cakes And …
Nice nod to Wedding "Crashers" here from Olympic swimming star Katie Ledecky, who grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, with the set-up and Olympic champion wrestler Helen Maroulis, who was born in nearby Rocky Point.
Heck yes, that’s what Md does! 🏅👌🏼Great to visit your stomping grounds. And always nice to run into a fellow USA teammate https://t.co/Z3UkfQjF62— Helen Maroulis (@helen_maroulis) October 21, 2017
In Moscow, Team USA ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani, along with young men’s singles star Nathan Chen, took gold medals away from the grand prix season opener, which gave the Shib Sibs good reason to post a team pic.
Head Of The Class
Three-time Olympian and 2016 single sculls silver medalist Gevvie Stone, now officially a doctor and in her first year of residency in Boston, certainly knows her way around the Charles River. Not only was she born in Boston, but, this past Saturday at the annual Head of the Charles regatta, Stone set a record with her career eighth championship in women's singles. A day later, after squeezing in a trip up to Maine for a work event, she returned to Boston to set another record, this one for time, as a sub on a women’s eight crew that set a course record on Sunday.
Stone’s retelling of the weekend via Twitter, including some foreshadowing as a super spare earlier in the week:
Start. Your. Engines.
Olympic long track speedskating silver medalist Brian Hansen enjoyed his chance to experience one of the greatest ride-along programs ever. Scroll to the end of this section for a video recap — complete with screeching tires.
Feats Of Strength
Go ahead, try this at home. Goodness, is this video sequence ever an indication of how strong Olympic gymnast John Orozco (still) is.
Or go ahead and try making any of these turns at speed the way Olympic champion Ted Ligety does — over the full run, while scrubbing barely any speed on his turns.
Parents can relate to the sorry-not-sorry thoughts running through the mind of U.S. Women’s National Soccer Teamer and Olympic gold medalist Sydney Leroux Dwyer.
I left Cassius with Dom for the night and I know I’m supposed to be sad but I’ve never been so excited to eat alone in my entire life.— Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) October 23, 2017