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5 Things Team USA Athletes Learned At A Recent Photo Shoot For Team USA Shop

By Maggie Hendricks | Nov. 23, 2018, 3:21 p.m. (ET)

A behind-the-scenes photo of the Team USA Shop photo shoot held in October 2018 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.


Take a look at TeamUSA.org, TeamUSAShop.com or any other Team USA media channels in the coming months, and you’ll see them.

Those gorgeous photographs showing off Team USA gear are the result of lots of hard work from photographers, makeup artists, stylists and, of course, Team USA athletes.

A recent photo shoot at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, captured images of U.S. athletes modeling new Team USA gear and, in some cases, just having fun. These photos will be featured on TeamUSA.org, on Team USA social media accounts and elsewhere.

Athletes showed off new Team USA gear available now at TeamUSAShop.com, and some more Team USA Tokyo clothes that will hit the online store in early January.

Two of the athletes featured were Paralympic gold medalist snowboarder Noah Elliott and Olympic bobsledder Nate Weber. They gave us a look at what happens behind the scenes in a Team USA shoot.

Here are five takeaways Elliott and Weber had from the recent shoot.

1. Weber learned why professional photographers are so necessary.

“You never realize how much talent goes into taking photos until you see some really great professional photos,” he said, “and you and try to take something like that, and you think, mine don't come out anything like that!”

2. Both men had never worn makeup before. Elliott said he was surprised at how the makeup made his skin look so crisp in photos. Weber, who is also a Green Beret in the U.S. Army, found he had trouble not touching his face.

“I don't know how you ladies do it all the time,” he said. “I don't have that much discipline. My makeup would be smeared all the time. That takes a lot of discipline that I don't have.”

3. When Elliott received the pictures in his email, he said he couldn’t stop laughing. He said the pictures showed his goofy side.

“The other side of myself, that I don't necessarily get to see, but the photos were able to capture it, which was super funny,” he said.

4. Weber was able to show off his personality, too.

“I kind of went with it, and tried to be myself,” he said. “I am a little bit extra with most of the stuff I do, so they seemed to appreciate that!”

5. Props help set the mood. The shoot captured holiday photographs, so Elliott was handed a Charlie Brown-esque Christmas tree.

“I was able to have fun with the tree, and he was able to give me suggestions on what to do,” he said. “It was cool because they knew when to suggest things, or ask me to do a certain pose. But then they also knew when to say, just do whatever you feel comfortable and just do you.”

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As for the best part of the whole shoot?

Weber opened his email and saw his own face in a Team USA newsletter. Since the photos captured Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day, he’ll continue to see his face for months to come.

Elliott will begin competition on the world cup circuit later this winter, as the first competition of the year was delayed by a lack of snow in Finland. Weber is recovering from a wrist surgery and torn labrum in his hip, so he will miss the upcoming bobsled world cup season.

Maggie Hendricks is based in Chicago and has covered Olympic sports for more than 10 years for USA Today and Yahoo Sports. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Noah Elliott

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Nathan Weber