As 2018 is coming to a close, it’s time to look back at the Team USA athletes who made headlines this year — but it’s not because of their amazing sporting accomplishments that gave them top billing. Lots of Olympic and Paralympic athletes proposed or were proposed to, married or had a baby in 2018. Here is a look at just 18 of them.
In September, the five-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer got engaged to her longtime boyfriend (and former swimmer) Hayes Johnson, 28. Johnson, who competed at the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and won a NCAA team championship while at the University of Texas in 2010, got down on one knee to surprise his 23-year-old bride-to-be. Franklin, who announced her retirement from the sport Dec. 19, shared the news on Instagram and has been posting details about their big day (including their wedding planner and 16-piece band they’ve hired) every Wednesday, tagging it #WeddingWednesday.
The two-time Olympic freestyle skier (and two-time medalist) is not used to having to perform well in warm temperatures, but that didn’t stop the 24-year-old from proposing marriage to his girlfriend, Lizzy Braun, while on the beach in Florida this past May. Goepper posted the news on Instagram writing, “She’s stuck with me forever! Lizzy Braun-not-for-long.” She shared the photo on her page, writing, “Yessss!” She can also be seen on Instagram spending a lot of time with Goepper’s younger sister, Kasey, who wrote, “Welcome to the family. It’s nice to add another blonde to the mix.”
In April, ice dancer Madison Hubbell shared the news that while she might not share the same flag as her Spanish ice dancer boyfriend, she planned to share her life with him. Adrian Diaz (who competes for Spain) got down on one knee while the two were vacationing together in Barcelona after the 2018 World Figure Skating Championships a couple weeks earlier. The couple had been competing against each other for nine years, and dating for almost four when he popped the question. Hubbell and her partner, Zachary Donohue, placed fourth at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and later won the world silver medal. Both teams train in Montreal, Quebec.
“I still can’t believe I get to go through life with this guy,” Long, 26, wrong about her longtime love and former soccer coach, Lucas Winters. The 23-time Paralympic medalist swimmer showed off a shiny new diamond at the end of August with the caption, “My heart is bursting.” The four-time Paralympian, who is a double below-the-knee amputee, was born in Siberia and adopted by an American family. At 12 she earned her first gold medals, and has been swimming competitively for more than a decade. This summer she released an autobiography, “Unsinkable: From Russian Orphan to Paralympic Swimming World Champion.”
The queen of triple jumps is jumping up and down for a very different reason these days. The second U.S. woman to land the difficult triple axel (and at 15 years old, no less) got engaged to boyfriend Josh Heyne four and a half years after they first started dating. The former college baseball player (who now works at a utility company and instructs baseball and softball players) dropped to one knee while the couple was at a marina. It didn’t take long for the 29-year-old figure skater to say yes to the man she calls her “constellation.”
Pole vaulter Morris didn’t know her boyfriend (and fellow track athlete), Tyrone Smith, was going to show up at the IAAF Diamond League Final meet in Zurich, Switzerland. So she thought that’s where his surprise ended. But after the Olympic silver medalist placed second at the meet, her Bermuda-born long jumper and three-time Olympian boyfriend — surprised his 26-year-old girlfriend again by proposing marriage. “I SAID YES,” she wrote on Instagram, calling the couple, “#dynamicjumpingduo” and adding, “I may have gotten second in the Diamond League tonight, but I’m going home with a REAL diamond and the most amazing man I’ve ever met.”
Clayton Murphy and Ariana Washington
While on vacation in Napa Valley, California, in June, Olympic track bronze medalist Murphy, 23, proposed to his girlfriend (and track teammate and fellow Olympian) Ariana Washington, 22. Murphy posted pictures on Instagram saying, “I pulled off the biggest surprise of her life. She is forever mine. Partners in crime for life.” The two plan to get married next year, and Washington wrote about her fiancé that she is “so ready for a lifetime with you.”
In September, eight-time Olympic gold medal swimmer married his girlfriend of six years, Hallie Ivester in Napa Valley in Northern California. The ceremony took place at Beaulieu Garden and was attended by fellow swimmers and Olympians, including Ryan Murphy. The 29-year-old has attended the past three Olympic Games and brought home five gold medals, however his new wife is no stranger to the pool — she attended Stanford and was on the diving team. She is now the director of marketing for Banana Republic. The couple honeymooned in Italy and France.
Will Claye and Queen Harrison
Two-time Olympic triple jumper (and three-time medalist), Claye, officially has his queen. More than two years after winning silver in Rio and climbing the stands to propose to fellow Olympian and girlfriend of four years, Harrison, 30, the two said their I do’s. On Oct. 13, the Team USA couple were married in California at the Montana Cielo, an overlook estate property in the hills of eastern San Diego county. The ceremony, which saw a little bit of rain (said to be good luck), was officiated by former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham, father of Olympian Vashti. Harrison wore a Vera Wang lace gown and veil.
After a year-and-a-half engagement, Olympic ice hockey forward and two-time medalist tied the knot with NFL player Michael Schofield of the LA Chargers. The couple — who met while attending high school — said their I do’s over the summer in Chicago not far from where they got engaged. Schofield (who was a Super Bowl champ in 2016 and thought it was only fair his girlfriend at the time got a ring, too) proposed at their favorite ice cream shop near their hometown. The pair went back on their wedding day to recreate their engagement photo.
A Team USA women’s ice hockey lineup that includes Kacey Bellamy, Brianna Decker, and Erika Lawler is usually a scary sight. But on Sept. 22 in Pownal, Maine, members of the U.S. women’s hockey team were gathered together for a very different reason. Their captain, and friend, Duggan, was getting married to a former member of Team Canada and they were serving as the bridesmaids. Longtime rivals, Duggan and Gillian Apps played against one another at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics before Apps retired from her international team. In PyeongChang, Team USA defeated Canada to win its first gold medal since the sport’s Olympic debut 20 years earlier. As memorable as that was, nothing could top the wedding, which Duggan called “the most incredible day of my entire life.”
More than 20 years after first meeting, four-time Olympic luger Hamlin married Jonathan Hodge (a physical education teacher and assistant high school basketball coach) in her parents’ backyard in August in Remsen, New York — the place where the two met decades earlier when she was only 8 years old. His dad was hired to wire the Hamlin’s house and would often bring his son and daughter along to play. At 31 years old, and in front of 300 guests, the first U.S. woman to medal in luge recited her vows (after him, because she lost a game of rock, paper, scissors) while his friend from college married them. Their first dance was to “Tennessee Whiskey.”
Welcomed A Baby...
On Oct. 16, Olympic speedskating couple Heather and Jorrit Bergsma welcomed a baby boy, Brent, into the world two weeks early. Three days after his official due date, Heather had her new son dressed like a gumball machine in time for his first Halloween. Shortly after announcing she was pregnant, the 29-year-old Olympic bronze medalist posted that she would be taking a break from competition. She was a member of the U.S. team that earned bronze in team pursuit in PyeongChang, the first U.S. medal in women’s speedskating since 2002. Jorrit, 32, represented the Dutch at two Olympic Winter Games, winning a gold and bronze medal at the 2014 Games and a silver in 2018. The couple, who live and train in Jorrit’s native Netherlands, have been married since 2015.
Three-time Olympic swimmer and 12-time medalist welcomed her first child, daughter Zennie Mae (named after her mother) on Oct. 16 with husband Ethan Hall. The 36-year-old is one of the most decorated female swimmers at the Olympics, winning five medals in Athens, six in Beijing — a record for a woman at a single Olympics — and one in London. The swimmer hasn’t retired, but hasn’t competed since falling short of making her fourth Olympic team in 2016. These days her time is spent getting “around-the-clock cuddles” and said “Baby Zennie, my husband and I are all doing well.”
Surprising her fans, and the world over, six-time Olympic track champ Felix announced on Dec. 20 that she had given birth to a baby girl, Camryn Grace, 10 days after her 33rd birthday. Her and her husband Kenneth were planning a photo shoot to announce the news when she had to be taken to the hospital for an emergency C-section. On Nov. 28, her daughter was born two months early, weighing 3 pounds, 7 ounces and is “going to be in the NICU for a while, but she’s OK and I’m so, so grateful,” as Felix wrote in an article detailing her recent experience. The most decorated man or woman in world championships history has six Olympic gold medals and three silvers, and still plans to make her fifth Olympic team. But if she can’t, she wrote, “It’ll be OK.”
Talk about an exciting year! A couple months after helping the U.S. women’s ice hockey team win its first gold medal in 20 years, three-time Olympic ice hockey player Lamoureux-Morando welcomed her first child into the world with husband Anthony (who trains both Monique and her twin sister and fellow hockey player Jocelyne). Mickey Salvatore was born on Dec. 11 and is already flooding the Team USA athlete’s Instagram page. Next month he’ll have a playdate when Jocelyne is due with her first. Monique scored the game-tying goal in the final of the 2018 Winter Olympics before her twin scored the last shootout goal of the game to clinch the gold medal.
This year has been filled with ups and down for the country’s most decorated Olympic alpine skier of all time. In October, Miller and his wife, Morgan Beck (who was a professional beach volleyball player and former member of the U.S. women’s national volleyball team) welcomed a baby boy into the world. Unfortunately it came just four months after the two lost their 19-month-old daughter, Emeline, to a drowning accident. The baby — whose name has not been announced yet — was born at home with the help of a midwife. Along with their newborn son, the couple has a 3-year old together, and Bode has a son and daughter from two previous relationships. Miller retired from racing last year at the age of 40 after having won six medals in five Games.
The most decorated Olympian of all time and 23-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer welcomed his second son into the world with wife Nicole Johnson earlier this year. Before arriving in February, Beckett Richards Phelps was affectionately known as #babyshark on Instagram. Less than a year later he already has 56,000 followers, while his big brother, Boomer (who is 2 ½ and was born a couple months before his dad competed at his fifth and final Games) has an impressive 735,000. Phelps hosted a baby shower for his wife in Arizona a couple days before Beckett made his arrival and posted online to let everyone know that “we had a healthy baby boy and a healthy mama.”