FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - JULY 16: Christie Rampone of the USA applauds their team during the USA team training session at FIFA World Cup Stadium Frankfurt on July 16, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)
NEW YORK -- Christie Rampone is probably one of the toughest women I've ever met. And that's not because her arms are as cut as any prize fighter's. It's because not only is she a mother to two young girls while also the captain of the U.S. Soccer Women's squad heading into the London 2012 Olympics, but it's also because she manages all of this with Lyme disease.
Oh, and a few years ago, she suffered a burst ovary on the field during practice while she was only four weeks pregnant, played through it before having surgery (her daughter was unharmed) and 10 days later, returned to the team. During that stretch she also was asked to take over as head coach, where she guided her team to a league championship. Not bad.
She's 36 years old, and still holds open the possibility of playing in her 5th World Cup, in 2015. But first she's got London 2012 in her sights. When she stopped by our studio the other day we discussed last year's crushing loss in Germany to Japan, her disease along with her mental and physical strength, and how she balances all of this while being a working mom.