This article is sponsored by Citi.
Not much fazes women’s soccer champion Christie Rampone.
In 2009, while secretly pregnant with her second daughter and just recovered from a ruptured cyst, Christie returned to her professional soccer team, Sky Blue, to discuss her rehabilitation program. Instead, after the team’s coach resigned, Christie was asked to take to the field as head coach, despite having more playing than coaching experience.
She accepted. And Christie, a former Point Pleasant, N.J., resident, wasn’t just a placeholder. After a tumultuous season, Sky Blue went on to win the first Women’s Professional Soccer championship and a trip to the White House—all under Christie’s leadership. After the championship, Christie told her teammates that she was pregnant, according to a Wall Street Journal story.
Christie, who collected a silver medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and gold medals at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, is now the 36-year-old captain of the Women’s U.S. Olympic Soccer Team. The proud mom also tweets photos of her two-year-old daughter, Reece, watchingher practice. Her older daughter, Riley, is 5-years old and attends kindergarten. This New Jersey mom’s unapologetic appetite for life and success is simply inspirational.
Although she walks among the gods on the soccer field, not even Christie could escape the fatigue that set in after the birth of her second child.
Her determination is limitless. SI.com writer Grant was “shocked” to learn during that interview that Christie was suffering from Lyme disease, a bacterial infection spread through ticks that may cause flu-like symptoms in the early stages and can be debilitating. “I have my good and bad days, but when it's tough I just push through it," Christie said in the SI.com interview.
With the London Olympic Games approaching, Christie is focused on training. She told Bloomberg Radio that Japan and Sweden were the teams to beat and that the U.S. Women’s Team loss to Japan in the World Cup Finals is a great motivator for an Olympic win.
But winning isn’t all that drives Christie. She is also dedicated to the K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital and has partnered with Citi to support U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, a youth development program that battles obesity and promotes healthy living in low-income urban communities.
Christie is one of 13 athletes whom Citi is sponsoring in its Every Step of the WaySM program. This innovative digital program benefits U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes of all ages in communities across America by allowing fans to help allocate Citi’s ThankYou® Points to Sport Programs through activity on Facebook and Twitter, giving Team Citi athletes the chance to say "thank you" to the Sport Programs that have inspired them.
Christie selected Soccer for Success because youth sports have always been a big part of her life. She grew up playing basketball and attended Monmouth University in New Jersey on a scholarship. Christie recently told The New York Times that basketball was her first love, but the challenge of soccer drew her to the game in college. She’s been racking up medals and championships ever since.
“I’ve really enjoyed the last couple of years playing and having the balance of being a mom and playing the sport I love,” she told The Times. “I don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Citi, a sponsor of Team USA, has launched its Every Step of the WaySMprogram with a $500,000 donation to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), represented by 50 million ThankYou® Points - the currency of Citi ThankYou Rewards. The unique Every Step of the Way program allows fans to help allocate these ThankYou Points to Sport Programs through activity on Facebook and Twitter.
The more fans participate through Facebook and Twitter, the more ThankYou Points they can direct to their Sport Program of choice, until its goal is reached. At the end of the program, the USOC will use Citi's donation to give the cash equivalent of the ThankYou Points directly to the Sport Program matched with the Team Citi athlete.
Support Christie’s quest for gold and Soccer for Success through the Every Step of the Way Application on Facebook. Follow Christie on Twitter.