With the London Summer Games commencing on July 27th, we’re getting into the Olympic spirit with a series of exclusive interviews with some of TeamUSA‘s finest athletes. First up is soccer star Christie Rampone who is set to compete in her fourth Olympics this summer. And the team’s captain couldn’t be more excited to have her family-of-four cheering her on!
Christie opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her rigorous training schedule that began “a few years ago” for her gold medal dreams. She also shares stories about her two daughters – Rylie, 6, and Reece, 2 – and how her Olympic experience has helped “as a mother.” Continue reading her inspirational story of fighting the exhaustion of Lyme disease and how “the excitement of the Olympics and competing, makes dealing with the disease much easier.”
CBS: Tell us about your rigorous training schedule that has prepared you for the upcoming Olympic games.
CR: “Our rigorous training schedule began a few years ago getting ready for the 2011 Women’s World Cup. We are together most of the year living in hotels, eating meals as a team, having meetings and training multiple times a day with soccer and fitness.
We started 2012 with Olympic Qualifying in Vancouver which obviously was successful. Post-Canada, we headed to Dallas for more training and a friendly with New Zealand. Then it was off to Portugal and then Japan for tournaments, followed by a fitness camp in Florida. Recently we trained for almost three weeks at Princeton University and Philadelphia for a match with China.
Next up is a trip to Sweden for one more tournament and we finish up with a friendly against Canada in Salt Lake City. Then it’s off to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games!”
CBS: How do you manage your soccer career and motherhood?
CR: “By trying not to control everything and focus more on the really important things. I do my best to instill structure with my daughters and try to help work with our coach to navigate the team in the right direction. But at the end of the day, I cannot force either to do anything so I just do my best to help steer.
When I am on the field with my team or training alone, the focus is always 100%. Having an equal balance with both motherhood and the US Women’s Olympic Football Team helps me as a mother and being a captain.”
CBS: We hear you were recently diagnosed with Lyme disease. How are you feeling now? How did it affect your game?
CR: “I get really tired during non-training weeks/times. The Lyme Disease isn’t getting in the way but it creates more exhaustion with some sleepless nights. The adrenaline of pushing for my team and playing against the best women’s soccer players in the world helps me fight through the down days.
As we get closer to London, the excitement of the Olympics and competing, makes dealing with the disease much easier.”
CBS: Please tell us about your daughters Rylie and Reece. How old are they? What are they into?
CR: “Rylie is six-years-old and attends kindergarten at Manasquan Elementary. She is learning to read, write sentences, identify words and solve math equations. Rylie participates in gymnastics, dance, soccer, swimming and loves to jump on her trampoline with all the neighborhood kids. She is very outgoing, likes meeting people and loves many of my teammates and staff. Rylie has filled up one passport and visited at least a dozen different countries, some multiple times. She has traveled with Team USA Women’s soccer to almost every major city in the U.S. and quite a few of the smaller cities.
Reece is a very serious and loving two-year-old. She is doing great with using words and forming sentences. Reece is a very analytical child that loves to soak things in before approaching the situation. She is great at mimicking and her favorite move is a handstand up against the wall. Reece is very attached to Mommy but likes to do things on her own. She loves taking showers and eating! They are very different, almost opposite when it comes to their personality. But both girls have curly hair, green eyes and love dairy products!”
CBS: Are your girls into soccer yet? If not, do you plan to put them in soccer?
CR: “Rylie participates in our town recreation soccer program and loves to play. She hasn’t enjoyed watching the games in the past but is starting to pay more attention. Reece loves to watch my games and really likes kicking the ball. I won’t force them into anything, but will definitely encourage them to participate in sports. I will ask them questions, present ideas and see what happens.”
CBS: Will the girls be cheering you on in London this summer? If so, what does it mean to you to have them there?
CR: “Reece and Rylie will be going to London with their dad and some of my family and friends. It means the world to me and it will be exciting to see them wearing the red, white and blue with plenty of face paint and hair coloring!”
CBS: What are some of the values/lessons you’ve learned from your Olympic training and experience that you hope to teach your girls?
CR: “This will be my fourth Olympics and the process has always been really important and fun. I never want to let my teammates or coaches down so I push myself at all times. Hopefully my girls will learn that doing the right thing every day and being accountable for your actions leads to respect from others.
And while working hard is great, you have to be smarter than your opponent, especially with decision making. It’s not always about being the hardest worker and the most competitive, it’s more complex. Learning to gain an edge while enjoying the process is key!”
Photos: Mitchell Haaseth/ NBC Olympics
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