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."
Off The Market
No matter the U.S. Open tournament results coming out of the weekend, 2016 Olympic golfer Rickie Fowler, who ranked tied for 20th after Thursday’s first round at famed Shinnecock Hills, can always look back fondly on this week in Southhampton, Long Island. It may be the home of one of the toughest tests of golf in the country, but it is also now where he proposed — to the tune of more than 350,000 likes on Instagram, along with more than 10,000 comments, including from the likes of Justin Timberlake and Tom Brady. And on National Best Friend Day, no less.
The photog? Fellow American golfer Justin Thomas.
Head Over Heels For Friends
Fowler & Co. weren’t the only best friends showing up on social. In a hail of #NationalBestFriendDay posts, two-time Olympian and Beijing’s 100-meter hurdles champion Dawn Harper-Nelson stood out for her variation on the theme.
What better way to celebrate National Bestfriend Day than to do it upside down with @zoeesl 🤪 We seldom do ordinary things because our life has been extraordinary together ❤️ Happy National Bestfriend Day guys. Continue being a great BFF. #bff #adawnzo #nationalbestfriendday @diamondleagueathletics @iaaf_athletics @yogajournal @blacklovepage @blackmarriagemovement #blacklove 🎶 @nowthatsmajor
And a few hard-not-to-post entries from Team USA’s “siblings” and “mother-daughter” categories …
Well it IS #nationalbestfriendday 👯♀️ @chelseakruse (@dtlally not pictured) My besties bring so much laughter and light to my life....I couldn’t imagine a life without them in it. Tag your forever bestie and tell me why you couldn’t do life without them? I love to hear friendship stories! #bestfriends #friendship
This has been a pretty good run for two-time Olympic gymnastics medalist and Final Five member Laurie Hernandez — who celebrated turning 18 with a dream week that included the Tony Awards and an unforgettable Broadway cameo.
(the sun was in my eyes lol & yes i have an iron man shirt on) but since it’s my last post while being 17, i figured I’d write a little note to all of you. self love is not selfish. taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally is not selfish. it’s time to drop those that make you feel like you are hard to love- and surround yourself with people who want the best for you. stay blessed you guys💕 see ya on the flip side ahaha
#TonyAwards holy moly. amazing pic.twitter.com/QlElWoN3nT— Laurie Hernandez (@lzhernandez02) June 11, 2018
Last pic. I promise🤷🏽♀️ #TonyAwards pic.twitter.com/KYbjzw5Y8c— Laurie Hernandez (@lzhernandez02) June 11, 2018
And it seems the singing she’s been doing lately has mostly paid dividends for a fun cameo event at the Broadway musical "Waitress" …
@mattdeangelis22 thank you for making my Broadway dreams come true and singing on stage with me😭 (my voice is a bit scratchy haha sorry) but the whole cast was absolutely incredible... and if i told you i didn’t cry tonight during the show I’d be lying. Please please please go see it❤️❤️ your lil heart will melt
The Next Generation
We’ve seen the exploits of four-time Olympic skier Daron Rahlves’ kids on the ski slopes, but the motorcycle enthusiast also has a capable riding partner here, too.
Make that two riding partners …
Speedskating, anyone? When your mother is U.S. speedskater Heather Bergsma and your father is Dutch speedskater Jorrit Bergsma, who have four Olympic medals and seven world titles between them, let’s say there’s some potential there. The speedskating duo is due this fall.
And how’s this for a sweet set of reveals?
One of the more difficult spin class videos you’ll see this week, courtesy Mr. #EveryDayIsLegDay aka world champion speedskater Joey Mantia.
Wingate testing today // 6 second max effort, 10 minute rest, 30 second max effort, the goal being to reach the same peak power on the 30 as in the 6, then hang on for dear life, which hurts real real bad. Don't know what's funnier though, the faces or the coaches chirping @underarmour @usspeedskating @rocket7shoes
The former inline skater, who finished fourth in the 1,000-meter in PyeongChang, also offered some inspiring words that might offer perspective on what it means to land just off the podium.
'Win Or Learn’
Another inspiring message, this one in defeat from Olympic tennis player Sloane Stephens, who was up a set in the championship final at the French Open before falling in three.
Here We Go Again
Last week, she was showing off her soccer juggling skills. This week, the multitalented alpine skiing champion Mikaela Shiffrin displays her gifts on the tennis court, too.
An Olympic gold medalist skiier AND tennis player, @mikaelashiffrin talks Rafa Nadal's #RG18 win and shows her stuff on the court. pic.twitter.com/pzUUYzOZq2— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) June 10, 2018
Generally, we’re accustomed to seeing Olympic alpine skiing legend Lindsey Vonn’s feats of strength (or glamorous appearances in fabulous locations), but here’s a feat of balance that offers a glimpse of just how gifted an athlete one has to be for success in ski racing.
Fall Down, Get Up
Jessie Diggins, the anchor of the history-making cross-country skiing sprint team earlier this year, spends a lot of time running (and dancing and bouncing around) outdoors. Inevitably, some blood was bound to spill. True to form, it wasn’t long before the buoyant Diggins was up and at ‘em again.
Throwing out a ceremonial first pitch remains one of the great lighthearted perks of success, and Team USA has certainly enjoyed its fair share of that spotlight. And yet it really never gets old. Every one of the athletes has his or her own individual Olympic or Paralympic story and connection to the teams for whom they try their darnedest to groove one over the plate. Paralympic star Jeremy Campbell also earned extra credit for his boomerangs.
Wisconsin native and Olympic ice hockey gold medalist Brianna Decker earned her own extra credit for staring down the count before throwing a strike.
Feats Of Strength
From Olympic bobsled medalist Lauren Gibbs, who appears to be in decent shape this offseason …
Raise your hand if you need a little motivation on Monday’s to get you going... 👋🏾 #monday . . 📷: @mollychoma . . #mondaymotivation #mondaymood #mondayblues #fit #fitspo #fitness #fitnessmotivation #fitnesslife #bobsled #olympian #olympics #offseason #worldcup #crossfit @teamusa @usabs @crossfit @olympics @nbcolympics
… a pro tip:
Give these a try; my general rule of thumb is no pull-ups!!! That being said, I always seem to kick off my offseason training with these three position/iso hold chin-ups... they still aren’t great but they are better than they were three weeks ago... don’t forget to look back from time to time to see how far you have come, even small wins are important wins! #wednesdaywisdom . . . #wednesday #workout #fitness #fitspo #pullups #instafit #instafitness #bobsled #winter #athlete #win #winning #wisdom #success #teamusa #itsforamerica #crossfit #olympian #offseason @teamusa @usabs @virusintl @nike @nbcolympics @crossfit
Not to be outdone, or outworked, here are the young children of 2008 Olympic decathlon champion Bryan Clay, moving a tire the hard way …
Hannah Teter may be well known for her efforts on the snow, where she won Olympic gold in the halfpipe at the 2006 Torino Games and silver in Vancouver four years later, but, this time of year, she’s all about life on or near Lake Tahoe.
Surfs up!☠️ pic.twitter.com/UU0FLydq9v— hannah teter (@hannahteter) June 11, 2018
Cup Runneth Over
It had been since 1998 that the Washington Capitals had made their only Stanley Cup finals appearance, losing to the Detroit Red Wings at the time. But, with the help of Olympian T.J. Oshie, who left an indellible mark on the Sochi Games, and his 21 points throughout the playoffs, the Caps won their first Cup this past week. Afterward, Oshie thanked … his family.
Caps teammate John Carlson, who scored an overtime gold medal-winning goal for Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2010, had himself some family fun, too.