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."
Love For Houston
With heavy hearts, Team USA, along with the country and the world, watched as Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the southeast Texas coastline, causing devastating flooding and almost unimaginable damage. Throughout the weekend and into this week, Team USA timelines reflected countless thoughts of support, but also a full range of emotions from those who have deep ties to the area — those who felt and will continue to feel the great strain of the storm for weeks and months and years to come.
For Olympic swimmer Jessica Hardy Meichtry, it was her family that was in harm’s way …
Team USA bobsledder and Houston native Sam McGuffie, while training, shot a moving video to promote a relief fund …
National Team bobsledder and Houston native Sam McGuffie is promoting @JJWatt's Harvey Relief Fund: https://t.co/z8m5dVVNtl #HoustonStrong pic.twitter.com/OMZ178lOul— USA Bobsled Skeleton (@USBSF) August 29, 2017
Two-time Olympic gymnast Jonathan Horton shot his own video from his Texas home, as water crept up his yard …
We are okay so far. More rain tonight. Been a scary few days. The storm is relentless. https://t.co/OWuVquzrWg— Jonathan Horton (@J_Horton11) August 29, 2017
Olympic champion swimmer Simone Manuel, from Sugar Land, was left nearly speechless …
I have no words. This isn't even the worst. Many prayers to my hometown, the city of Houston, and all of Texas. pic.twitter.com/TRXpha0m0i— Simone Manuel (@simone_manuel) August 28, 2017
Now my dad kicking away frogs that are trying to get in the house. Trying to find some laughter in a lot of this sadness I see around me. 😔— Simone Manuel (@simone_manuel) August 28, 2017
Holding back tears. So much sadness all around.— Simone Manuel (@simone_manuel) August 29, 2017
Keeping faith in the face of adversity. 🙏🏾🙌🏾— Simone Manuel (@simone_manuel) August 29, 2017
Four-time Olympic gymnastics champion and Houstonian Simone Biles made it out to volunteer on Thursday …
it's breaking my heart to see my city like this— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) August 29, 2017
thank you all who have reached out to make sure my family, friends & I are ok. XO 💋— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) August 29, 2017
absolutely moved how our communities are coming together & helping ❤️ #HoustonStrong— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) August 29, 2017
We were up at 5 am & started volunteering this morning because we wanted to help our city ❤️ There is always something you can do to give back & it doesn't always have to be money. These shelters still need volunteers, clothes, food & blood donations! It will make their day! I thank all of the first responders, coast & national guards, army, and volunteers for their endless efforts & support to help. XO 😘
Houston-born Olympic gymnast Kim Zmeskal Burdette set up a relief drop-off …
Hurricane Harvey Relief drop off set up in the Texas Dreams' lobby. @tenleybella will collect to deliver tomorrow & Friday. pic.twitter.com/MQ23Pe2NQM— Kim Zmeskal Burdette (@KimZmeskal) August 29, 2017
London Olympian and Houston Rockets star James Harden kept his NBA hometown in his thoughts …
Please send your love and prayers to the people in Texas. 🙏🏾 #PrayforTexas pic.twitter.com/qjZsiZa2jO— James Harden (@JHarden13) August 27, 2017
… As did University of Texas alum Morolake Akinosun, who earned a gold medal as part of the 400-meter relay team in Rio …
Even if all you can do is pray, it will help. #HurricaneHarvery #HarveyFlood #TexasForever pic.twitter.com/h2vA5g05Ke— Morolake Akinosun™ (@MsFastTwitch) August 28, 2017
Olympic men's soccer team midfielder Stuart Holden wound up using social media to set a relief event in motion, and it kept picking up steam until it took on a life of its own …
Once the rain is clear and bbva is safe, some kind of charity match would be awesome. All proceeds to the relief funds.— Dustyn Richardson (@HouSports) August 29, 2017
Vs Jozy and friends. Get a bunch of guys from diff sports to play.— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) August 29, 2017
Yes. Let's round up as many athletes as we can, you and I are captains. Live draft with 2 spots open to biggest donations. #HOUSTONSTRONG https://t.co/nTJC1koUtB— Stuart Holden (@stuholden) August 29, 2017
Start tagging celebrities you'd want to participate. I'll start with @JJWatt, @SteveNash and @CarliLloyd ... you in?— Stuart Holden (@stuholden) August 29, 2017
I'm in! https://t.co/pE7mH9ExEO— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) August 29, 2017
I'm in.— Brian McBride (@BMcBride20) August 29, 2017
Where do I sign up?— Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm) August 29, 2017
Hey @TaylorTwellman @JozyAltidore @magee18 @BMcBride20 @TimHowardGK @CalenCarr @brianching !! Let's goooooo— Stuart Holden (@stuholden) August 29, 2017
Have received an overwhelming response towards this event. Thank you everyone for sharing, now time to make it a reality. DETAILS SOON!!!— Stuart Holden (@stuholden) August 29, 2017
Thinking open soccer tourney to include the diverse city of Houston, charity soccer match and potentially a concert @ BBVA.— Stuart Holden (@stuholden) August 29, 2017
New Home Away From Home
Traveling for competition is one thing. Being away from home for college is yet another entirely, which is something that Paralympic star Hunter Woodhall, the first double-amputee to earn a Division I track scholarship, is finding it to be another.
We miss you too 🐻🤗 (That's a bear hug😊😂🤣)— Barb Woodhall (@BarbWoodhall) August 28, 2017
The greatest Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, has an annoucement …
Congratulations are in order for Paralympic cyclist and world champion Chris Murphy, who got engaged this past week to a United States Olympic Committee staffer in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His thoughts are consistent with anyone who has asked and heard what feels like a magical answer.
She said Yes! Best feeling ever! #luckiestguyintheworld— Chris Murphy (@MusicalBikes) August 28, 2017
While her younger sister awaits the arrival of her first child, fellow Olympic tennis champion and former No. 1-ranked player Venus Williams is in New York competing in the 2017 US Open. The final grand slam tournament of the season, with its late-night action and big crowds, delivers, year-in and year-out, as one of the most entertaining sporting events on the calendar.
Rio mixed doubles champion Bethanie Mattek-Sands offers this (very) quick preview …
Gates are open!! 🎾🇺🇸 #RunningOfTheBulls 😅💦 @usopen #MyUsOpen #GameSetMattek 👍🏻 #GoTime @TennisChannel @espn pic.twitter.com/AwAp2BOSp2— Bethanie MattekSands (@BMATTEK) August 28, 2017
For her part, Venus opened with wins in her first two matches …
Also winning her first two matches: Rio Olympian Madison Keys, who offered this pre-tournament video to her fans on Instagram …
Also in the draw were Rio Olympians Brian Baker, Steve Johnson, Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock, and London Olympian John Isner, who entered the tournament as the No. 10 seed. Williams is ranked No. 9 in the women’s draw.
There are dozens of reasons for athletes to look forward to a trip to Lake Placid, New York, not least of which are the stunning Adirondack views and hikes, the serenity of Mirror Lake and the sheer quaintness of a village that’s home to so much Olympic history. There’s also, for the elite athletes staying at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, this very clear and present view of inspiration only a few steps from their rooms: sliding-sport athletes training on a track that can be seen from many of the rooms just across a small parking lot.
We did a lot of quality pushing this past week. Hype levels were high. Sliding season starts in almost a month @USBSF @TeamUSA @VIRUSintl pic.twitter.com/bI5u2hLmNB— Carlo Valdes (@CarloValdes_USA) August 29, 2017
Powered by grit …
Oh, What A Week
It’s not often a team in training has the opportunity for this kind of an odyssey, but women’s ice hockey players with their eyes on PyeongChang had quite the athletes’ tour of the Pacific Northwest this past week, visiting a handful of iconic stops and meeting a legend who helped so many of them dream their Olympic dreams. Oh, and, yes, there were donuts.
Congratulations if you’re able to so much as watch this without your quads burning …
Imagine a training regimen where pepperoni pizza is A-OK.
You know what we were wondering? Is there a loop of Joey Mantia skating on a treadmill in super slow motion? Also, this is mesmerizing …
When it comes to working out for Olympic curling hopeful Jamie Sinclair, a tree falling in the woods definitely makes a sound.
Two-time Olympic aerial skier Ashley Caldwell puts a twist on her training …
New And Improved
Between Olympic alpine skier Resi Stiegler’s awe-inspiring (and fun R&R) pics, Paralympic snowboarder Keith Gabel’s high-above perspective, Olympic cross-country skier Jessie Diggins’ shots from an “unthinkably gorgeous” four-hour run (along with some cross-country ballet), plus Olympic slalom skier David Chodounsky’s sunrise shot, New Zealand comes out looking pretty good this time of year for fans of winter.
I've realized recently that the key to happiness isn't success. The key to success is happiness, if you love what you are doing you will always be successful. A little piece of advice I received along the way that truly changed my life -If you want to go big then stop thinking small- Give it some thought. 📸 @shortydoowop3 . . . . #Gratitude #TeamUSA #Nike #newzealand #WorldCup #ToBlessedToBeStressed #audigames #versafoot #success #RoadToPyeongChang #StayHumble #EmitYourOwnFrequency #mentalstrength #sherrybdesertstudio #NoBadDays #ThankYouMotherEarth #Lovethelifeyoulive #snowboarding #OptOutside #StarveYourEgo #FeedYourSoul #KeepTheirHeartsWild #KeepItContagious #biodapt #usparalympics
And what it lacks in pastoral scenery, Paralympic snowboarding medalist Mike Shea makes up for with this video of his teammates out for a (very competitive) drive.
We took a day trip to Queenstown a few days ago with the team. You better believe we found something to race on and you better believe it got competitive. @monstermikeschultz5 @nicoleroundy @grizzlygabel @grahamwatanabe @brittanicoury @lozares @codybx . . . #Racing #Luge #Travels #NewZealand #TeamUSA #RubbingIsRacing #Queenstown #DayOff.
Shea’s rock-skipping game is also pretty strong …