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."
Before Team USA’s best swimmers took leave of Japan, where they made an indellible mark on the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships (to the tune of 20 gold medals, 14 silver medals and 11 bronze medals), they took one long last look around the energizing city.
Olympic legend Katie Ledecky also checked in with an extra day of work (and some fun) …
Always an honor to rep @USASwimming on the international stage!🇺🇸Thanks Tokyo for putting on a great Pan Pacs!🇯🇵@TeamUSA will be back for more 😉 pic.twitter.com/1gCg0ZJT3s— Katie Ledecky (@katieledecky) August 12, 2018
Goodnight Tokyo! I'll be dreaming of you. pic.twitter.com/xb7W00XFYw— Katie Ledecky (@katieledecky) August 15, 2018
A few more highlights from a priceless trip …
Meanwhile, In Boston …
Thanks to Team USA’s most active social media mavens, we can, more than ever, count on keeping up to date on where to catch the athletes in competition before events are taking place. Look out, Boston …
HI BOSTON💛— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) August 14, 2018
ready for this week/weekend for championships pic.twitter.com/VS3gNQ35Nk
Had a few setbacks along the way but I’m ready to fight for my fifth US all-around title! Good luck to everyone competing 🙏🏼 #TeamUSA #SeniorTour pic.twitter.com/sihLaEruuN— Sam Mikulak (@SamuelMikulak) August 15, 2018
Team USA has another author — make that two — among its ranks. Congratulations are in order for two-time Olympian Kara Goucher, whose book tour rolled through the Mile High City this past week.
Four-time Olympian, silver medalist, New York City Marathon champion and New York Times bestselling author Shalane Flanagan, in the midst of the #bestdayever, is at it again, too …
Today just might be the #bestdayever. I announced my return to racing the NYC Marathon and I’m celebrating the release of my second cookbook, Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. with my co-author @elysekopecky in Bend. I can’t wait for you guys to get your hands on this book to start cooking your way to your next PR. I never thought we could top the first #runfasteatslow book but we really have. I feel emotionally attached to the recipes in our new book since this is the food that fueled that magical little win last November!! The new cookbook is full of motivational quotes, inspirational stories, meal prep tips, more Superhero Muffins, incredibly nourishing smoothies and so many delicious meals to fuel your dreams. Learning to cook has been one of the best gifts I’ve been given to enhance my running career. I can’t wait to share these new recipes with you! Now available anywhere books are sold or go to runfaseatslow.com to order. What will you cook first?! #runfasteatslow #runfastcookfasteatslow
If you have a look at Olympic gold medalist swimmer Summer Sanders blog post, “Living Abroad: Living life on purpose,” what seems like a sudden move is years and years in the making. And if you need her and adventurous family for the next little bit, they have picked up stakes and are living life on purpose in Spain.
Hair Today …
Few #TransformationTuesdays cut this sort of swath through Team USA. For Olympic figure skater Jason Brown, the almost iconic long hair is a thing of the past. It even led to an appropriate updating of his Twitter bio: “Just a kid who loves to skate...and used to have a ponytail!”
💇♂️ #TransformationTuesday pic.twitter.com/hPCKDohwhT— Jason Brown (@jasonbskates) August 14, 2018
Famous now in her own new realms, Olympic judoka Ronda Rousey, who competed at the 2004 Athens Games and earned a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games, looks back fondly on a few rewarding few weeks a decade ago.
According to their flight hours, one could make a case that Team USA’s athletes are world travelers first and competitors second. We all know that not to truly be the case, but Rio modern pentathlete Nathan Schrimsher does a pretty good job of summing up just how comfortable he is on the road.
#UnitedJourneyContest @united @TeamUSA #SCHMAX full video - https://t.co/zLS0GTsrQB pic.twitter.com/kWzSRhT3Sp— Nathan Schrimsher (@pentnate5) August 14, 2018
Man’s best friend becomes that much more important in the lives of those who trust them as service animals. In the case of Paralympic alpine skier Danelle Umstead, there was a scare this past week that, thankfully, resulted in some positive news.
Hello firiends! Please say a prayer for my Bettylynn. She is my first seeing eye dog. She gave me a life of independence, I never knew was possible. She came into our lives in 2008, guiding me, loving me, and helping me create new beginnings. She retired in 2013, from guiding me, but not from being our #1 in our family. She has not been feeling well. Bettylynn, is almost 12. She is going in today to get mri on her liver, gallbladder, and much more They will have to sedate her, which scares me at her age. Please please please pray for my #blackbeuty I just can not imagine my life without her in it 😢🙏🏻
Update on Bettylynn!!!! Thank You All ! For all the love and prayer 🙏🏻 😍 It means the world to us. Bettylynn, is doing good. Yesterday was #ruff . The sedation didn’t wear off until this morning. She did great with MRI. They shaved her belly 😞The doctor said the images looked good. They sent them off to Oncologist, to see if there is something they may see. Should hear something by the end of the day today. Please continue the #love and prayers for my #blackbeauty Bettylynn #labadorretriever #labs #lovemydogs #doggieprayers Retired #guidedog ❤️💗💕 🐶
He Skates, Too?
From watching the timelines of active social media poster, we know Olympic skier Daron Rahlves, who competed in three Games as an alpine skier and in Vancouver in skicross, is raising another generation of active kids. We’ve seen his son riding dirt bikes and trying his hand at Schwingen and waterskiing and back-flipping on a trampoline and hucking himself on skis, and he’s clearly been practicing on the skateboard. This past week, he took his budding talents to the skate park haven of Southern California.
Shades Of Glory
Speaking of the next generation, of course the daughter of tennis legend Serena Williams has style.
Three-time Olympic skeleton athlete John Daly flips for D.C., and he’s willing to risk his perfect hairdo in the process.
Last week, it was a mesmerizing shuffle up the steps. This week, multi-sport Olympian Lolo Jones went truly viral with this new skill that reached more than 1.3 million views.
No matter the season or the mode of transportation, two-time Paralympic snowboarding medalist Keith Gabel sure likes to go fast. How fast? Check out the video and go along for the ride as gravity takes hold.
Come take a ride with me. Not the fastest run, but ripping over 1000 vertical feet in less than 9 minutes will definitely get your heart pumping. Stoked to have this downhill course 10 minutes from my house. Couldn’t have asked for a better day of training 🙏🏽 . . . #comeridewithme #takealap #sendit #optoutside #aspensnowmass #crosstraining #lovethelifeyoulive #snowmassbikepark #mountainbike #downhill #gratitude #gripitandripit #giantbikes #trainoutside #troyleedesigns #love #girohelmets #nikevision #valhalla #training #thankyou #sunnyday #love @aspensnowmass @nikevision @giantbicyclesusa
For some lucky members of Team USA, ’tis the season for skiing and snowboarding. These trips down the hill must be feeling extra special for Steven Nyman and Travis Ganong.
Just last week, Olympic snowboarding champion Jamie Anderson was double-back flipping in a bathing suit, which she has traded for some warmer gear.
Fellow Olympic snowboarding champion Chloe Kim has made the trade, too.
More from a land of unforgettable views …
Next up in New Zealand …