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."
How’s this for a run? Thirty-six world cup podiums. Five world championship medals. Four Olympic medals. (And countless surfing waves in between.) After nearly 20 years on the world cup circuit, the remarkable career of alpine ski racer Julia Mancuso came to an end this weekend after she officially retired from the U.S. Ski Team. True to form, Mancuso made one last competitive run last weekend in Italy, and, of course, she did it her way.
To say the least …
For a look at the run in its entirety, check out the video, followed by some celebrating …
Chiming in on the retirement news: young Olympic champion and defending overall world cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin, who shared this unforgettable, upside-down moment with Mancuso.
One of the classiest social post send-offs came from longtime competitor and teammate (and “complete opposite”), Olympic legend Lindsey Vonn, who offers up a few priceless throwback pics, too.
Jules, It’s hard to say goodbye to someone I’ve spend most of my life skiing with. We are complete opposites but grew up striving for the same things. We pushed each other and together we achieved so much. We have shared so many amazing moments and I’m so grateful for all of them. Maybe it’s my old age or maybe I’m just emotional, but I will deeply miss you. Thank you for being you, thank you for everything you’ve done for ski racing and thank you for being a great teammate. Good luck in the next chapter of your life. Love, L
There were also tears …
Another incredible send off. I'm so touched by all the nice things everyone has shared with me. Thank you all so much. My journey would have never been the same without you! Congrats Lindsey❤️❤️❤️ and all the girls. Ps. (@lindseyvonn )I can't wait to see you break that record! (Hopefully before 2021😜) so we can celebrate in Cortina again. #superjules #funolympics #usskiteam #lindseyvonn #juliamancuso
Shiffrin Stumbles … And Recovers With Aplomb
On the slopes, Shiffrin did not have the best of weekends in Italy, missing a gate in Cortina and crashing in San Vigilio di Marebbe. True to her own form, however, she rebounded nicely in social — checking in with a humorous status report.
Inside arm forward, level shoulders, outside ski pressure... looks good on all accounts, put me in coach! • • • • • • • • • mood - 😒☹️🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️ • • • • • • • • • On another note- there was some really incredible skiing out there today from a lot of girls. (@viktoria_rebensburg @ragmow @federicabrignone to name a few- congrats girls!!) Everybody is raising their level every race, every day- and that’s what sport is about. We push the limits, we get better; we fall, we get up; it’s never predictable, and no one is invincible...and THAT is flippin’ awesome. • • • • • • • • • Now I’m gonna go sulk some more k, bye. 🤷♀️🤜😒🤛
If you’ve flown United recently, you may have seen the posters of luger Erin Hamlin, short track speedskater J.R. Celski and sled hockey player Nikko Landeros looking all superhero-like. Here are their works of art in (constant) motion …
The hockey world lost one of its most visible and important executives over the weekend when two-time Olympian and USA Hockey Assistant Executive Director Jim Johannson passed away in his sleep at the age of 53. (Full disclosure from the author: “JJ” and I were longtime friends who shared countless drives, meals, texts, stories and laughs over the years, beginning when I was a staffer at USA Hockey from 2003-07. In fact, our first meeting wasn’t even a meeting; he’d heard someone new was starting in the office and offered this stranger his house for two weeks while he was on the road.)
Johannson’s impact on Team USA’s culture beyond the obvious medal count over nearly two decades is impossible to measure — from waking up at frigid cracks of dawn to help equipment staff load vans in outposts all over the world, to gladly managing more details than anyone might have expected from an executive, to bringing a smile and a million laughs to a million rinks around the globe. He was at ease with so many people — volunteers, players, captains of hockey industry, parents, toddlers, family — and a loyal, thoughtful, classy, almost inhumanly selfless and buoyant friend. He never missed an opportunity to cover a check, take the edge off a stressful situation, offer to help or leave a Hall of Fame voicemail from the 612 number so well-known around the hockey world.
For those who knew him, to his family and friends and the strangers whose lives he touched, “beloved” barely covers it, and Team USA tried to cope through social media posts upon hearing the devastating news …
Deeply saddened to hear this news. Thoughts and prayers with the Johannson family. Grateful for the opportunity JJ gave me to play for USA hockey. A great man, who will always be remembered.— Auston Matthews (@AM34) January 21, 2018
Deeply saddened to hear my long time friend Jim Johannson has passed away. I’ve been friends with him since I was 14 years old. He was such a great man that had a huge impact on USA Hockey. Such a sad day... JJ, you’ll always be remembered. RIP my friend.🙏🏼— Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick) January 22, 2018
We lost a true friend in Jim Johannson today.— Coach Tony Granato (@TonyGranato) January 21, 2018
He was so compassionate and as loyal a friend as you could have. He was the ultimate teammate.
I am deeply saddened and shocked and sorry that he is no longer with us.
He was a special human being. pic.twitter.com/vGAR4ZTFu2
It comes with a heavy heart hearing about the passing of my close friend JJ. One of the best leaders of @usahockey who grew our game to new heights! My thoughts and prayers are with his family and he will truly be missed, but his legacy will carry on. It’s a sad day for hockey!— Phil Housley (@philhousley6) January 21, 2018
JJ will be missed throughout the worldwide hockey community. A great man with a heart made for the sport. Condolences to his beautiful family https://t.co/YNjGhLS5J5— Angela Ruggiero (@AngelaRuggiero) January 23, 2018
Absolutely shocked to hear about the passing of Jim Johannson. He was a part of every US Team I ever played on. A first class person in every way. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones. RIP— John-Michael Liles (@hoosierjm26) January 21, 2018
I am deeply saddened by the passing of JJ. @usahockey and the entire hockey community lost an incredible friend & ambassador today. Thoughts and prayers are with his family in this difficult time.— Joe Pavelski (@jpav8) January 21, 2018
Shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of JJ. He had an immense impact on the program & the sport we all love so much. Thinking of his family and friends during this difficult time. https://t.co/YlI6OWqdCQ— Meghan Duggan (@mduggan10) January 21, 2018
Shocked and Deeply saddened by this news. JJ gave me the opportunity to represent USA and I’ll always be thankful to him for that. His fun loving personality was infectious. He went above and beyond to make the USA hockey experience so unforgettable. He will be missed by so many! https://t.co/bQrbSGxNgx— Charlie McAvoy (@CMcAvoy44) January 21, 2018
volumes as other USA Hockey family members can attest. His passion for the many teams and his players was beyond comparison in the sport. My heartfelt condolences to his wife, daughter, and relatives— Jack Eichel (@Jackeichel15) January 21, 2018
Heartbreaking news. JJ was all class. Thoughts and prayers to his family. https://t.co/EFsuLjY0TX— Erik Johnson (@6ErikJohnson) January 21, 2018
Thanks for your friendship and leadership as you always lead @usahockey with your heart and soul! You will truly be missed Jim Johannson— Justin Abdelkader (@justinabss) January 21, 2018
When we last saw Christian Coleman making headlines, he was surprising the world with a silver medal in the 100-meter at worlds in London. Now, he’s a world-record holder in the 60-meters — breaking Maurice Greene’s record last achieved in 2001. And it looked a little something like this …
WORLD RECORD!! 6.37s. Great start to my career. Thank You God🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/fUZQEpuPgw— Christian Coleman (@__coleman) January 20, 2018
The World 🌎 wasn’t ready, but @__coleman was.— Nike+ Run Club (@NikeRunning) January 21, 2018
In his first professional indoor race ever, Christian Coleman predicted he would break a 20-year-old World Record. Then, he did it. #justdoit https://t.co/Jh3sfqDcd7
🔥🙌🏾 Congrats! https://t.co/PHAiqZ4GnS— Allyson Felix (@allysonfelix) January 20, 2018
Bruh 🤦🏾♂️ you’re way too fast https://t.co/9mLIRgG7Cv— Marquise Goodwin (@flashg88dwin) January 20, 2018
🙌🏼👏🏼Congrats!!! https://t.co/6iAuV8UFQA— Jenna Prandini (@J_Prandini) January 20, 2018
Two-time Paralympic swimmer Colleen Young, is now a sophomore at Fairfield University in Connecticut. And a school-record holder, too.
Setting a school record warrants a retweet. But this, this gets all caps …
ED SHEERAN IS ENGAGED LOVE IS ALIVE AND WELL CHIVALRY ISNT DEAD— Colleen Young (@_CRYoung) January 21, 2018
Paying It Forward
Two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time water polo player of the year Maggie Steffens learned her love of the sport from her father, Carlos, who grew up in Puerto Rico. Each of his children retain a deep affection for Puerto Rico, and Maggie has been working to help support efforts related to repairing damage left behind by Hurricane Maria. The fruits of their hard work paid off this past week in the form of a big check to the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico.
Olympic champ @maggiesteffens and the Steffens family used push-ups to help raise $20,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico (@BGCPR). Read more on how 'Push-ups for PR' started following Hurricane Maria. https://t.co/d0RNv0JnTR#WaterPoloWednesday pic.twitter.com/CK3s1mDyxx— USA Water Polo (@USAWP) January 17, 2018
Soon, Jessie Diggins will make her second Olympic appearance as one of the world’s best cross-country skiers. But, first, she’s going to dance in Austria.
The Struggle Is Real …
Parents, even among some of the most accomplished athletes in the world, can rally around this much …
I've conquered a lot of things... blood clots in my lungs- twice... knee and foot surgeries... winning grand slams being down match point... to name just a FEW but I found out by far the hardest is figuring out a stroller! 😰😰— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) January 20, 2018
If your father is a legendary Olympic swimming champion who has a signature competition move, you might as well learn it at an early age.
Road To … Beijing
Olympic alpine skier Travis Ganong will not be competing in PyeongChang this time around, courtesy a pair of recent surgeries, but he’s already looking ahead. Way ahead, to 2022 (with a little help from his sister).
Packing for the Olympic Games is no ordinary effort …
The thing about the Olympics is, it requires so many clothes. Like, so many. 🐣— Johnny Weir (@JohnnyGWeir) January 23, 2018
Well, a month of my life goes into suitcases tomorrow and I’ve narrowed it down to 33 blazers for starters so...yeah...just blazers. #WinterOlympics— Johnny Weir (@JohnnyGWeir) January 25, 2018
Well...it’s looking like 12 suitcases. #WinterOlympics— Johnny Weir (@JohnnyGWeir) January 25, 2018