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."
Opening Day brings with it so much hope in so many MLB cities. And it also, in an Olympic year, often means some fantastic Team USA cameos. In this case, congratulations are in order for two-time slopestyle skiing medalist Nick Goepper, an avowed Reds fan who earned bronze in Sochi and silver this past winter in PyeongChang, Olympic women’s hockey gold medalist Haley Skarupa, plus a couple of her teammates in Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan and Amanda Pelkey, along with luger Chris Mazdzer, Olympic gymnastics champion Aly Raisman, and Paralympians Dan Cnossen and Jake Adicoff.
Tonight we welcomed Haley Skarupa, a Rockville, Md. native and member of the 2018 gold medal-winning @usahockey Women’s Hockey team, to throw the ceremonial first pitch. Nice job, Haley! #Birdland pic.twitter.com/UgJqEBZaPW— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) April 1, 2018
Opening Day at Fenway had a distinct Team USA flair, too.
Three-time Olympic bobsledder Nick Cunningham may not have been in attendance, but he made sure to show off his allegiances.
While unseasonably cold temperatures — along with surprise snow — have greeted so many of us early this spring, this past weekend brought with it one of the most photo-friendly weekends on the calendar. Take it away, Team USA, with your family gatherings, your super-cute kid pics, your walks down memory lane and your completely normal egg-painting of curling stars …
Love that he believes. Happy early Easter everyone!! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/xVxKZ3yt7c— Kara Goucher (@karagoucher) April 1, 2018
Olivia wishes a Happy Easter to everybunny! pic.twitter.com/vjuGdVGzCn— Jessica Hardy (@swimhardy) April 1, 2018
Every little girls easter basket... pic.twitter.com/lGe8LaJWuZ— Brianne McLaughlin (@BrianneMcL) April 1, 2018
Happy Easter! 🐣🐰~Love the Taylors 😎 pic.twitter.com/5pEUWjAsdp— Elana Meyers Taylor OLY (@eamslider24) April 1, 2018
And, finally, a curling twist …
… or two …
Speaking of curling. … The warm welcome-back the Olympic champion men’s curling team has enjoyed since returning from PyeongChang continues, and rightfully so. As the authors of one of the Games’ great Team USA tales, those stories are meant to last. This, however, would qualify as one of the more otherworldly epilogues.
And this is happening! @MattJamilton sliding one of our touchable #meteorites and finding that it’s density-mass distribution is a just a bit different from usual #Curling stones... @ASUMeteorites @TeamShuster @Shoostie2010 @Isotope_Dan #VegasRocks @LVCurlingRocks #STEM pic.twitter.com/TuLQK3qAeY— Meenakshi Wadhwa (@minwadhwa) March 31, 2018
He Still Has It
After all these years, Olympic snowboarding champion Shaun White still knows his way around a skate park.
What next? For three-time Olympian and Massachusetts native Shalane Flanagan, the Boston Marathon represents another opportunity. At the New York City Marathon this past November, Flanagan became the first Team USA woman to win the event in 40 years. The smiling that followed could also have made for an ideal swan song. But one of the most successful runners in this country’s history isn’t ready to go quietly just yet. Particularly not in Boston, where the marathon hasn’t always finished the way she would have liked. Look out, Boston, Flanagan will be back.
WE HAVE UNFINISHED BUSINESS On the pavement and the trails. In the pool and out in open water. On the road and in the gym. It’s something inside us. Something that refuses to take no for an answer. Something that makes us push through every time, no matter what. 2015 Boston Marathon was a stinker Marathon for me. Ive been training and preparing to go back and conquer it. I have #unfinished business. @team_hotshot #unfinishers
Also making her return will be one of the most dominant athletes in her sport, Paralympic star Tatyana McFadden, who has the countdown clock ticking and some redemption on her mind. In 2017, McFadden’s streak of four consecutive wins in Boston came to an end when she finished fourth while still recovering from blood clots.
Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen has made very little secret about her running ambition. In fact, since announcing she would be trading in her triathlon training to concentrate full-time on marathon training, she pinned a tweet with an unmarked checkbox next to the words “Olympic gold in Marathon.” This past weekend, Jorgensen, who has been training with Flanagan, added another win and personal best on the road to Tokyo.
Happy to get a win last night. 31:55 pic.twitter.com/YMAlsMyJyF— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) March 31, 2018
Get Well Soon
Mere weeks after serving as Team USA's Closing Ceremony flag bearer at the Paralympic Games, Oksana Masters, who arrived in PyeongChang with a severe elbow injury but left as the most decorated female U.S. athlete with five medals, would undergo yet another surgery. So far, so good, in the recovery game.
Everything went smooth. I have to say out of all of the 17+ surgeries I’ve had, this was the smoothest one. I think the hardest part was not having coffee in the morning,😝. I can’t wait to have my new bionic elbow and build myself back up and get back on the bike and skis. THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of the sweet messages and support. It’s a long road ahead but I’m ready to start my #roadtorecovery.
This was a busy week in Vail, Colorado surgeries for Team USA …
Finally did it. I’ve been chronically dislocating my shoulder since the last Olympics in Sochi, so this surgery has been a long time coming. Thanks to the amazing docs who helped, and to my body for holding it together long enough for me to become an Olympic medalist 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/QgTupN5zqD— Arielle Gold (@arielletgold) April 2, 2018
Both an Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games athlete, Lolo Jones has earned some time on the shelf, too.
I was completely shut down by the doctor today. Injections into my Achilles tendon the same week I was supposed to open up for my first outdoor race. I have done two sports for years. In that time when other athletes would have an off season I would go do another sport. I’ve worked nonstop and pushed until my body finally said chill. So I guess tell me your favorite Netflix and tv shows, I’ll be on this couch for the next week. Prolly in the same outfit but surrounded by empty bags of chips and candy wrappers. 📷 @ymfilms
And the inspiring story of high jumper Jamie Nieto, the two-time Olympian and four-time national champion who was severely injured in April 2016, continues …
If you have them, why not show them off? Olympic pole vault medalist Sandi Morris certainly has the bling …
All my babies in one place 😍 pic.twitter.com/so4KlO9TUJ— Sandi Morris (@sandicheekspv) April 1, 2018
And, in the words of USA Water Polo’s tweet, “When you played in so many Olympic Games you have to write them down” …
New look! Same passion... pic.twitter.com/OGx69EcGi7— Tony Azevedo (@WaterPoloTony) March 29, 2018
Tick, Tock …
We’ve already pointed out a handful of athletes who have the next Olympic Games on their internal clocks, but this is among the first we’ve seen for the Road to Beijing …
Packing up some bobsled stuff because I am headed to placid. Came across last season’s unifom! Just got fired up for team trials #olympian #fourmoreyears #roadtobeijing @TeamUSA @usabs @NBCOlympics @Olympics— Lauren Gibbs (@lagibbs84) March 31, 2018