By Jamie MacDonald | Sept. 01, 2017, 11:22 a.m. (ET)

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 …

Two-time Olympic gymnast Jonathan Horton shot his own video from his Texas home, as water crept up his yard …

 

Need this storm to be over, but it isn't even close. #hurricaneharvey

A post shared by Jonathan Horton (@jhorton11) on

Olympic champion swimmer Simone Manuel, from Sugar Land, was left nearly speechless …

Four-time Olympic gymnastics champion and Houstonian Simone Biles made it out to volunteer on Thursday …

Houston-born Olympic gymnast Kim Zmeskal Burdette set up a relief drop-off …

London Olympian and Houston Rockets star James Harden kept his NBA hometown in his thoughts …

… As did University of Texas alum Morolake Akinosun, who earned a gold medal as part of the 400-meter relay team in Rio …

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 …



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.


Baby News

The greatest Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, has an annoucement …

 

Number 2 on the way!!!! So excited!! Wonder if it's a boy or a girl??

A post shared by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on


Engagement News

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.


Court Proceedings

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 …

For her part, Venus opened with wins in her first two matches …

 

I gotta flow. You gotta flow? So let it go. Yeah. #usopen #elevenbyvenus

A post shared by Venus Williams (@venuswilliams) on

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.


Sled Heads

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.

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.

 

🐐 #21

A post shared by Hilary Knight (@hilaryknight) on

 

A little fun to end day 2 βœ…

A post shared by @amandakessel28 on

 

A lot of love right here! These girls are amazing! ❀❀#family Just missing the photographer @meganebozek

A post shared by Brianna Decker (@bdecker1814) on

 

After a 10k we grab donuts. #OwnIt #TeamUSA #Health

A post shared by Hilary Knight (@hilaryknight) on

 

Thank you @nike and @usahockey and @university_of_oregonducks for an amazing week in Portland and Eugene, Oregon #family

A post shared by Kacey Bellamy (@kaybells22) on


Snow Joke

Congratulations if you’re able to so much as watch this without your quads burning …

 

πŸ”ͺβ›·πŸ‘‹ πŸ“Ή#GoPro X @alex_altach @head_ski @shredoptics @putnaminvestments @lekiusa @usskiteam

A post shared by Ted Ligety (@ted_ligety) on


Training Stories

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.

 

If you go to the gym but don't take a picture... does it even count?πŸ˜‚ #imkidding!

A post shared by Jamie Sinclair (@jamiesinclair21) on

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.

 

New Zealand πŸ‡³πŸ‡Ώ you're pure gold 🌟 always πŸ™ŒπŸ½ #teamresi

A post shared by Resi Stiegler (@resistiegler) on

 

Good morning NZ...

A post shared by David Chodounsky (@dchodounsky) on

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.

Shea’s rock-skipping game is also pretty strong …

 

Working on my rock skipping skills this morning. #Views #LakeWanaka #ForeverAKid #RockSkipping

A post shared by Mike Shea (@sheastagram13) on