Red, White & Trending: July 13-19

By Jamie MacDonald | July 20, 2018, 6:04 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."

 

Top Notch

We already know that Elana Meyers Taylor is a wildly successful athlete. There are the 11 letters she earned in four sports in high school, the excellent softball career at George Washington (where she was team MVP each of her four seasons, twice batting more than .400) and, of course, the Olympic appearances and medals. But there’s also … well, let her proud husband, Nic Taylor’s words from an Instagram post cover it …

“I’ve had the pleasure to watch this woman, become a world champion twice over, earn 2 masters degrees, win 2 Olympic medals, earn a spot on the MENS National bobsled team, play 7’s rugby for team USA, and get awarded a PHD. But today, @elanameyerstaylor is the #president elect of the @womenssportsfoundation! Look out world and anyone trying to infringe women’s rights, because @elanameyerstaylor is a FORCE to be reckoned with!"

For Elana, the job description is one of inspiring.

She’s also squeezing in some healing time, too. And at superhuman speed. Naturally.

Meyers Taylor is also quick to wish fellow Team USA athletes words of encouragement, happy birthdays, good lucks and get well soon notes, as she did for British skeleton athlete Lizzy Yarnold. Classy.

 

Jolly Good Time

“… just the beginning.” Look out, tennis. Olympic tennis legend Serena Williams is back, and reaching a final in a major is no small feat with a young daughter. Williams’ heartfelt look back at the fortnight in England is the kind of post that makes social media sing. In this case, to the tune of nearly 500,000 likes.

And more than 100,000 for …

With Wimbledon in the rearview mirror, Williams had some time to reflect back on 319 remarkable days.

 

 

Rewarding Evening

If it’s an awards show for athletes, you know Team USA is going to be on the scene. Two of the biggest winners of the night? Team USA’s Olympic ice hockey champions and the legend that is Shaun White.

 

 

Wow, just won another ESPY for Best Olympic Moment! I got so choked up from watching the emotional victory footage from my win that I forgot to thank some people so here’s my chance... thanks to all my friends that came to the Olympics and everyone cheering from home, my family that has always shown unwavering support, my girlfriend @sarahbarthel who has been a true partner and friend who’s helped me through the craziness that is life, @jjthomas_ my coach and brother, @tobymiller my life coach/son haha, @estalee11 my physical therapist who was the glue that kept the whole team going, @shelbymeade who is always a positive force in my life, Kenny my wax-tech who keeps me hauling ass in the halfpipe, all my sponsors and the fans that have supported me and continue to support me! I Love u all!!! #espys #olympics #blessed

A post shared by Shaun White (@shaunwhite) on

But first, some pregame …

 

 

 

 

 

On To The Next One

For some of Team USA’s brightest stars, it didn’t take long to find another awards show …

 

 

Goodness …

Show of hands for everyone who saved a rabbit’s life this week? Apparently, taking on this sort of mission is more a pressure cooker than the Olympic Games — where decathlete Trey Hardee happened to win silver in London.

 

Thinking Of You

Last week, we learned that Olympic champion cross-country skier Kikkan Randall would be undergoing treatment for cancer. This week, her Team USA training partners are thinking pink.

 

Wind-up, And The Pitch …

The St. Louis Cardinals opened their doors to a trio of Team USA gold medalists in sled hockey players Steve Cash, Billy Hanning and Josh Pauls. Cash, a three-time Paralympic gold medalist, and Hanning were born in St. Louis, while Pauls, also a three-time gold medalist, is a coach in the St. Louis area.

 

Celebrating The Emoji

Leave it to USA Football to put a pigskin twist on the internet holiday.

 

Close Quarters

How quickly do things happen in judo? Let two-time Olympic judoka Nick Delpopolo show you the ways.

 

Strength In Numbers

Olympic gold medalist wrestler, Helen Maroulis, Team USA’s first female gold medalist in the sport, and Victoria Anthony, who just missed a shot at Rio when she finished second in her division at the U.S. trials, both check in at a shade over 5-feet and not much more than 100 pounds, but do their admirable best stacking up next to a behemoth.

 

Green Day

It wasn’t long ago that Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon and Olympic alpine skiing star Mikaela Shiffrin were hanging out on the French Riviera. This past week? It was slime time.

 

And here’s a flashback to how things wound up so green:

 

Teed Up

No NHL player wants to be golfing during the playoffs, but, when you win the Stanley Cup, as Olympian T.J. Oshie did this past season, playing golf is all good. Particularly when you’re playing with two of the best U.S.-born players in history.

 

World Tour

He spent more than a month on the road covering the World Cup. He took dozens on flights. Traveled tens of thousands of miles. Nearly 10 cities. And when the World Cup came to a close and it was time for some R&R, Olympic soccer player Stu Holden … wound up in a World Cup parade. C’est la vie.

 

 

 

Farewell To A Friend

Sad news hit the skating world this week when Denis Ten, an Olympic and world medalist figure skater, died in his native Kazakhstan. Many fellow Olympians shared their thoughts on social media, but few bared more emotion than Team USA’s Alex Shibutani.