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."
Stars And Stripes Salute
Few holidays bring out the U-S-A in Team USA more quickly — and fashionably, and seasonably appropriately, and naturally — than the Fourth of July. And, in the age of social media, there is no better way to share all that love for the red, white and blue than up and down the Team USA timelines. Our roundup of the highlights include some of Team USA’s brightest stars and most thoughtful presences in social media.
What does the 4th of July mean to you? Gaining our independence, fireworks, parades, family, friends.... For me, it reminds me of my childhood- this one time sitting in the back of my best friends car staring intently out the back window giggling, crushing jolly ranchers and starbursts and praying for the rain to stop so the fireworks could start. It reminds me of these kind of moments- the kind that make me smile, and make me feel so incredibly grateful for this life I have, with family and friends that I love, and memories that I will cherish forever. So, what does the 4th of July mean to you? #happybdayamerica #4thofjuly 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (PC @gettysport )
Some may think this patriotic get up is for the Fourth of July but this is me all day, everyday. No mistaking what country I’m from! #proudAmerican #happy4th 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 @TrekBikes pic.twitter.com/l8ucPcuNLs— Melissa Stockwell (@MStockwell01) July 4, 2018
Happy Independence Day America!! So proud to be from, and to get to represent, this country that was founded on the values of equality, opportunity and grit. Hoping we don’t lose sight of that and that everyone has a great day celebrating 🇺🇸🇺🇸 . . . #teamusa #bestofus #merica #olympicgear #stillgonnasendit #undefineyourself #stoked #girlswholift #californiagirl #liveadventurously #hyped #lfg #thesweatlife #outforarip #hairflip #americankids #skeletonsport #olympicsports #gopro #bepresent #nike #oneobsession #merica #stanceanthem #fullsend #instagood #ralphlauren
Happy Independence Day. I spent s couple in the big sandbox. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/BefkfiFoAY— Jamel Herring (@JamelHerring) July 4, 2018
Oh, say can you see, how proud I am to be an American today and everyday. So thankful to represent this great country by being a part of @TeamUSA ❤️💙 #happybirthday #America #fourthofJuly #fortmchenry pic.twitter.com/jwggeGGbRs— Becca Meyers (@becca_meyers) July 4, 2018
Sitting behind the USA sticker on my boat always makes me think about what the 🇺🇸 means to me. Happy 4th of July! Be merry and celebrate with old and new friends! 🎆— Casey Eichfeld (@kckanu) July 4, 2018
—#july4th #happy4th #independenceday pic.twitter.com/TO0LGOvQAy
Just an #AllAmericanGirl that was born in Minnesota, grew up in Wisconsin, lived in Florida, and now calls Arizona home! Extremely proud to represent the Stars and Stripes!! 🇺🇸 #Happy4th 😘 #USA pic.twitter.com/kdKweaTgf8— Bethanie MattekSands (@matteksands) July 4, 2018
I may not be in the USA for the 4th, but I get to see the Olympic Museum in Switzerland! And it’s GORGEOUS HERE! Fun fact: vault legend Jeff Hartwig is my on-the-road coach, manager, and a fellow reptile fanatic. Snakes and Polevault is all we talk! pic.twitter.com/BoCRSDa4JV— Sandi Morris, OLY (@sandicheekspv) July 4, 2018
Workday For Gwen
While the Fourth of July is a day off for so many, Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen — who has set a more-than-modest goal to become an Olympic marathon champion — joined 60,000 of her closest friends for a 10K in Atlanta. For Jorgensen, July 4, 2018, was a workday. And work she did, all the way to a fifth-place finish. In a way, it was a workday for her husband, too, who took over Twitter to create a compelling real-time recap of Jorgensen’s next few thousand steps in the audacious journey. But, first, Jorgensen set the stage.
6 pairs of shoes seemed totally reasonable to bring for one 10k race 🤷🏻♀️ pic.twitter.com/oIgXm2utxG— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) July 3, 2018
Beautiful morning here in Atlanta. 74 and 🌞— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) July 4, 2018
Approaching mile 4 Gwen in 5th 10 seconds down— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) July 4, 2018
Gwen is 21seconds behind @aliphinetuliamu— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) July 4, 2018
Approaching 1km to go— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) July 4, 2018
They will sprint— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) July 4, 2018
Shoulder to shoulder— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) July 4, 2018
Still 500 meters— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) July 4, 2018
5th— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) July 4, 2018
Finished feeling like I gave it everything & that’s a step in the right direction. Lots of work to do and excited to put my head. Thank you #ajcprr for the opportunity & fun race. Thank you as well to my sponsors, family, friends, and fans for allowing me to chase my crazy dream. pic.twitter.com/CbybYm0ZWr— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) July 4, 2018
Also in Atlanta, another dominant Team USA athlete, Paralympic star Tatyana McFadden, recorded another stellar finish while Bernard Lagat, who two Julys ago won the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials’ 5,000-meter at the at the age of 41, and Stephanie Bruce, the mother of two who’s having an excellent summer on the track, earned these celebrations. Even if Bruce couldn’t quite capture her emotions.
What a great and fun race today!!!! Today @suscaroni and I were back and forth during the race and she got me in the end on the last down! I was proud of myself that I was much faster descending today. Anybody who knows me knows I don’t like descending fast. So happy for my @illiniathletics teammate on her win today. There is no one I want more to win than someone who is hard working , and a wonderful person. Thank you to all staff and volunteers for making this race so great. I still love it. Happy #4thofjuly and see you all next year 😁
Lots of emotions, don’t quite have the words yet. pic.twitter.com/2aupC9v2Ft— Stephanie Bruce (@Steph_Rothstein) July 4, 2018
The King Goes West
The ultimate form of professional freedom in the NBA comes when a player hits the open market. And when the prize is three-time Olympian LeBron James, widely considered by many to be among the top handful of players in NBA history, he of 40 or so million Twitter followers, this decision was bound to bend the laws of what social media could handle.
Don’t think Lebron is going to Philly ... He is either going to LA or stay in Cleveland!!— Brittney Reese, OLY (@DaLJBeast) July 1, 2018
Sports section editors around the country right now...— Alex Shibutani (@AlexShibutani) July 2, 2018
LeBron picks LA...
LA... LA... 🤔
I really can’t believe @KingJames went to LA— Gwen Berry (@MzBerryThrows) July 2, 2018
I’m happy Lebron went to LA!— ClaressaT-rexShields (@Claressashields) July 2, 2018
Feeling hashtag sad about Lebron’s decision— Kassidy Cook (@KassidyCook1) July 2, 2018
And if the NBA’s super-team arms race heats up any more, Olympic men’s curling champion Matt Hamilton wants in.
Well, then. Shaun White, who, if you hadn’t seen above, seemed to have enjoyed his Fourth of July, also dropped a bit of a bombshell two days earlier. Not only is he … well, Shaun, take it away …
LIFE UPDATE! Catch me at some skateboarding competitions this summer, and I will NOT be walking away from my love of snowboarding just yet. Stick around for the ride. pic.twitter.com/jWuKePvHuI— Shaun White (@shaunwhite) July 2, 2018
Affectionally known as “Daver,” two-time Olympic alpine skier David Chodounsky, who has always entertained his 5,000 or so Twitter followers with his quippy takes and quirky pics (and a fun recent pepper challenge), retired this week with a typically thoughtful post complete with all sorts of flashback images.
Well folks, it's been quite a ride, but all good things must come to an end. Looking back to the beginning, I can't believe I how far I made it in this sport. I am forever grateful to all my friends, family, coaches and supporters that have had my back through the years. I will always cherish the memories and relationships I made along the way, and that is all that matters. Of course, as with any athlete ever, my mind will endlessly battle all the "what ifs" and "what could have beens" of my career, but I will always remember the successes to give myself respite. I only hope that I have done enough to inspire the next generation to never give up on their dreams so that they too can appreciate our extraordinary sport! Thank you all and see you down the road! Daver out!
What’s a little vacation for alpine skiing legend Lindsey Vonn if she couldn’t sneak in a workout?
Court Case Closed
High fives all around for Team USA’s women’s volleyball team, which had been chipping away at making history over the past six or so weeks around the globe. All of that hard work paid off in the form of winning the inaugural Volleyball Nations League event — with a 17-2 record and a five-set win over Turkey in the final. Individual awards? Yes, please. Michelle Bartsch-Hackley was named the tournament’s most valuable player and best outside hitter while Tori Dixon earned honors as the best middle blocker. Enjoy what will one day become their unforgettable walk down memory lane …
And after the five-setter …
50,000+ miles traveled, 6-weeks on the road, many “serve & pass” hours, all the MRE’s they could consume & maybe 🍾🍾🍾 tonight led to #TEAMUSA winning the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League Championship! They’re bringing home 🥇 medals. More importantly, #equalpay! 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/eh3K4u85ze— Lori Okimura 🇺🇸 (@LoriOki) July 1, 2018
USA IS GOLDEN!!!!!!!! 🇺🇸🏐🥇🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 VNL CHAMPIONS!! pic.twitter.com/wNJ8iXNkUG— Rachael Adams (@RADAMSS) July 1, 2018
Oh, The Places You Will Go
Four-time Olympic swimming medalist Simone Manuel will take, “Things I didn’t expect to see in New York for $100 …”
Even twins can be brought closer together by Team USA …
Speaking Of Siblings …
One of the week’s best turns of fame came when Olympic men's soccer team midfielder Stu Holden, who in his current role as a broadcaster is reaching millions of soccer fans on a regular basis throughout a wild World Cup, was upstaged in one of the oddest ways one might imagine. The scene unfolds best in real time, but the quick-hit recap is that a couple asked to swap seats on a flight, and the thankful woman, in some sweet sense of good karma, said she’d hoped for the best with the arrival of the new seatmate. And that’s when #PlaneBae, Holden’s brother, showed up. The rest is what in the world of social media would be considered history …
On FaceTime with my brother @EuanHolden aka #HunkyPlaneGuy or #PlaneBae who has become a viral sensation overnight. Also trying to find out if I’ll have a sister in law soon. Twitter thread is amazing: check @roseybeeme timeline if you haven’t yet. pic.twitter.com/aMQxCokn5j— Stu Holden (@stuholden) July 4, 2018