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Red, White & Trending: July 27-Aug. 2

By Jamie MacDonald | Aug. 03, 2018, 2:34 p.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."


Pan … Pacs … Packing

One of the most decorated Olympic teams in the world, competitive on its own with many countries, is USA Swimming. This past week, at national championships, one of the most impressive collections of world-class talent convened once again. And now they’re ready to, again, take on the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.

As two of the best head east, Chase Kalisz tipped his cap to the young legend that is Katie Ledecky.

Giving Back

When you sign a contract worth more than $150 million, and your previous contracts have added up to more than that, all of which is pre-endorsement for a man of more than 40 million Twitter followers and more than 40 million Instagram followers, and they call you King James, and you’re in the conversation for the best player in NBA history, you certainly have some means. Three-time Olympian LeBron James this past week also made one of the more lasting impressions any athlete has made by opening a school in his native Ohio. And, wow, is it impressive. But opening day still had the Lakers star nervous.

How impressive is the school? Let’s count the ways …



Team USA couldn’t help but gush …





James, of course, has already left a lasting impression on another school — his alma mater, where he stopped in for a workout on Aug. 1. Look closely and the arena bears a familiar name.

Welcome Back

Olympic gymnastics champion and star Simone Biles took her most recent competitive bows in Rio. This past week, however, in her return to competition, Biles not only performed, but also talked of being better than ever. Much to the delight of her many fans.






The Horse’s Mouth

We know Olympic alpine skiing star Lindsey Vonn is comfortable taking on the risk that is plummeting down a mountainside at nearly terminal velocity. But here’s a new risk: feeding a carrot to a horse … from her mouth.


Upside Down

First, yes, let’s appreciate the fact that talent is being recognized by the next generation during an otherwise mundane workout of an Olympic champion. But let’s also marvel at Laurie Hernandez representing the elite gymnasts of Team USA with hand-walking skills.

Let’s Dance

July 28 marked the social media observance of #nationaldanceday, and Team USA managed to put a few of its best feet forward, including this slo-mo from the speedy Olympian-slash-NFL wide receiver Marquise Goodwin.



It’s #nationaldanceday Does dancing on ice count? ⛸💃 Happy Saturday!

A post shared by Tara Lipinski (@taralipinski) on



If These Shoes Could Talk

While these shoes on the left can’t talk, the image can. And let Meghan O’Leary tell their story. These are no ordinary neon kicks. They have a story and they have (and this is no pun) a soul. That soul comes through the struggle and triumph of setting sights higher than anyone should have a right to dream and attempting to reach those heights. And that pair on the right will take on new life.

Jumping For Joy

For Olympic pole vault medalist Sandi Morris, Greenville, South Carolina, is special. The Greenville High School alum went out this past week and, in front of the hometown crowd for an event showcasing both her talent and the city, took a run at the world record. And, yes, there was a billboard.



Happy Anniversary

Tin or aluminum? Seems a fairly appropriate traditional anniversary gift for an Olympic bobsledder celebrating the 10-year mark since a fortuitous flight.

Happy Anniversary, Part II

Kudos, too, to Paralympian Becca Meyers’ wonder dog.


Counting Calories

At a clip of just about a calorie burned per second, Olympic alpine skier Steven Nyman makes a pretty good impression on the bike — even if he’s not in the neighborhood of a record.

Variation On A Theme

Congratulations are in order not only for two-time Olympic short track speedskater Jessica Kooreman on the news, but also for the clever reveal.

Project Recovery

Among Team USA’s more uplifting stories from a place of could-be tragedy, the remarkable story of Jamie Nieto’s efforts continues to impress.

For a closer look at his story …

Tick, Tock …

Think Tokyo is on the minds of Team USA athletes? You better believe it …

Related Athletes

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LeBron James

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Meghan O'Leary

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Sandi Morris

Track and Field
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Jessica Kooreman

Short Track Speedskating
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Jamie Nieto