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."
This past week marked an anniversary of an indelible event in the lives of two-time Paralympian Melissa Stockwell and her loved ones. Imagine the phrase, “last day I stood on my own 2 legs.” For Melissa Stockwell, a paratriathlon world champion with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star, it is a way of life.
Today I think back 14 yrs to the last day I stood on my own 2 legs. The day could have taken my life but took only 1 leg. Leaving me w/ more love, life, patriotism & the power of the human spirit.— Melissa Stockwell (@MStockwell01) April 13, 2018
Happy 14th bday to ‘little leg.’ You rock my world every dang day. #aliveday 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/rXhlVZXBac
What an amazing night. Thanks to everyone that came out to help celebrate Little Leg’s 14th birthday. A night of celebrating life and be thankful for all we have. Life is so good. #littlelegturns14 ❤️🎂 pic.twitter.com/LWVFfpYtbn— Melissa Stockwell (@MStockwell01) April 15, 2018
Now as the mom of two, she has her eyes on a third Paralympic Games.
Keep Showing Up
For starters, not all that long after ending a decades-long American win drought at the New York City Marathon, three-time Olympian and Massachusetts native Shalane Flanagan was more than ready to take on the marathon in her backyard. But, in brutal weather conditions marked by wind and constant rain, it was not her day at the Boston Marathon.
22years ago, at age 14, I stood on the corner of Hereford and Boylston cheering on my father and all the runners of the 100th Boston Marathon. My dream to become a marathoner started that day. I hope some little boy or girl watching tomorrow’s race is inspired like I was, to relentlessly pursue their dreams. Lots of love to everyone tomorrow....run proud and run #bostonstrong💙💛
There was also two-time Olympian Desiree Linden.
Something remarkable then happened for the woman whose pinned tweet reads: “Some days it just flows and I feel like I’m born to do this, other days it feels like I’m trudging through hell. Every day I make the choice to show up and see what I’ve got, and to try and be better. … My advice: keep showing up.” Indeed, Des.
6th time’s a charm. Keep showing up! pic.twitter.com/TCJrG4Ee7A— des_linden (@des_linden) April 16, 2018
For Flanagan, after her own disappointment, she was quick to celebrate the great success. And she wasn’t alone in reveling in one of the week’s great sports tales.
Those were the most brutal conditions I’ve ever run in.— Shalane Flanagan (@ShalaneFlanagan) April 16, 2018
You showed so much grit, Molly! Sticking it out all the way. Good work 😊— emma coburn (@emmajcoburn) April 16, 2018
There was a special postscript to the second-place finisher, too. Remember the name of Sarah Sellers.
This story is so awesome! 2nd at Boston! 😱No doubt Sarah will get that Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier. What a strong race she had! https://t.co/QvvBsbleM3— Kara Goucher (@karagoucher) April 17, 2018
Boston also meant the writing of another chapter in an almost impossibly successful career for Paralympic star Tatyana McFadden, who merely went out to win her fifth Boston Marathon.
💙Today was magical. @des_linden I’m so incredibly happy for you. You are great person and I have love following your career and to have gotten to know you. You deserve this today. Also huge congrats to Yuki Kawauchi, you are a beast 💙 @bostonmarathon @johnhancockusa pic.twitter.com/tbHNrba1Di— Tatyana McFadden (@TatyanaMcFadden) April 16, 2018
Told you that you could do it! 💪🏻— Amanda McGrory (@alittlechipped) April 16, 2018
Fun And Games
The dream post-Olympic season continues for Team USA athletes, who could be found making their own marks on NBA and NHL playoff games.
Diggins wasn’t alone among gold medalists in Boston, either.
And guess who else enjoyed the VIP treatment in Boston?
Thought to be among the favorites to compete in PyeongChang, Team Sinclair ultimately lost in the final round of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in heartbreaking fashion. Since then, national curling champion Jamie Sinclair has enjoyed quite a run, including a fourth-place finish at worlds and a historic win this past week.
What a week! Grand Slam of Curling CHAMPIONS! 🏆 Absolutely honored and we couldn’t have done it without our web of support! @TeamJSinclair @grandslamcurl #PlayersChampionship pic.twitter.com/I9a35xNXE1— Jamie Sinclair (@jamiesinclair21) April 16, 2018
Earlier this month, however, she did actually enjoy one loss …
Pro Tip, By Mikaela Shiffrin
Take this pro tip from a world traveler, Mikaela Shiffrin:
Back in Euroland for a hot second! 🙋♀️🙋♀️ (PS the best medicine for jet lag are FACE FILTERS😹😹) pic.twitter.com/YR7zDDN3Is— Mikaela Shiffrin (@MikaelaShiffrin) April 15, 2018
Per usual for Shiffrin, the destination paid off …
In other Mikaela Shiffrin headlines, a new day dawned in her career this past week.
It has been 6 incredible years working with my ski technician, Kim. But now, as they say, it’s time to pass the torch. Or in this case to pass the skis! (Pause for laugher “hahaha” 😂🤷♀️) Kimmy Boy, thank you for all you have done for me, for my skiing, for growing with me these last 6 years, it’s been absolutely amazing. All the best for the future! See you around! Now it’s time to make some more amazing memories with my new ski technician, Johann (aka Jo-man 💪 as deemed by me and may be the greatest nickname known to mankind.) This is one of my favorite quotes and articulates my thoughts better than I can: “Make new friends, Keep the old; One is silver, The other gold.” But in this case, it’s all gold. And I’m so excited to see what the future holds. Let’s do this! 👍💪💪😜☺️
Putting Jamie Back Together Again
If you’ve ever wondered about the kind of price Team USA athletes pay when the quadrennial spotlight dims, it’s led two-time Olympic bobsledder Jamie Greubel Poser to consider surgery as “spring cleaning.”
Been a busy few weeks, “spring cleaning” as I like to call it, but I’m back! 2 surgeries: 2 elbows, 1 knee all in 3 weeks. Finally moving better. Can’t wait to back to training. @TeamUSA @USABS pic.twitter.com/BXm8JHFmw1— Jamie Greubel Poser (@JamieGreubel) April 18, 2018
Field Of Dreams
Back in 2015, future golf Olympian Bubba Watson announced that he became part owner of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. That explains the pretty VIP seats for recent game to watch “his” affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.
She’s back. Three-time Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt, racing for the first time since Rio, isn’t making any guarantees for how long she’ll be competing. But she did offer through Deck Pass Live this past week after a Pro Swim Series meet in Arizona that she considered it “a starting point.”
Back to racing in a sport that I love, thirty minutes from my home, supported by friends, family, and fans near and far... now this is what I call fun‼️ #luckygirl #grateful #lovingit pic.twitter.com/6D1MUFBdzo— Allison Schmitt (@arschmitty) April 17, 2018
YOU ARE THE BEST CHEERLEADER, BEST FRIEND, BASICALLY JUST THE BEST HUMAN EVER!!!!— Allison Schmitt (@arschmitty) April 17, 2018
Between them, Tina Thompson and Lindsay Whalen have four Olympic gold medals — two each earned in 2004 and 2008 for Thompson and in 2012 and 2016 for Whalen — and they’re both now first-time head coaches at NCAA Division I programs. And it all makes fellow women’s basketball stars Tamika Catchings and Swin Cash very happy.
Oooooooooo yeeeaaaaaaaa BIG s/o to 2 of my faves in the game - my BIG sis @iamtinathompson & lil sis @lindsaywhalen new HEAD COACHES!!! @UVaWBBHoops @gopherwbb ladies are up for a treat!! SO EXCITING!!!! 👐🏽👐🏽 Congrats ladies 😘😘😘#Inspire #IMPACT #ChangingLives #SoBlessed pic.twitter.com/pewnekqfQV— Tamika Catchings (@Catchin24) April 17, 2018
Known in social media as @bobsledr, Nick Cunningham may not typically be associated with surfing, but the California native is a multi-dimensional threat. And that now includes acting.
It’s Official! You’ll be seeing my face during Season 2 of #BigLittleLies on @HBO! Love they are using #Monterey locals alongside @RWitherspoon, @ZoeKravitz, @shailenewoodley, @LauraDern, and #NicoleKidman. @Big_Little_Lies— Nick Cunningham, OLY (@BOBSLEDR) March 31, 2018
When you have this kind of conversation on a commute with a stranger, by all means, go ahead and pit it, Helen Maroulis.
Conversation with my uber driver this morning when I got picked up at rental car place and not the OTC:— Helen Maroulis (@helen_maroulis) April 14, 2018
Him: “so what brought you to CO”
Me: “I was out here for rehab”
Him: “oh what was the addiction?”
Me: “....um.... wrestling”
🤷🏼♀️ #sportsrehab #ishouldaclarified
What makes Team USA rugby Olympian and all-around speedster Carlin Isles so fast? This workout doesn’t seem to be hurting him …