[REAL VERSION] London 2012

REAL VERSION

Full coverage on NBC through August 12

Even Lyme Disease Can't Stop Rampone

U.S. Soccer captain keeps disease at bay as she trains hard

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    United States' Christie Rampone is a sparkplug for her team.

    Christie Rampone doesn’t let anything keep her down -- especially Lyme disease.

    The 37-year-old captain of the U.S. Women's Olympic Soccer Team says the adrenaline rush that comes from playing keeps the disease, which doctors diagnosed in 2010, in check.

    The New Jersey soccer mom of two says she's determined to push her body past all obstacles.

    "I know when I’m having a bad day I don't know if particularly other people know," Rampone said. "I try to hide it as much as I can -- I try to stay motivated in the public eye like in front of my teammates."

    Lyme disease is spread by the bite of an infected tick. Early signs include flu-like symptoms, aches and pain. It can be easily treated but for some symptoms like joint pain and fatigue linger.

    The Point Pleasant, N.J. native is unsure when she contracted the disease.

    "I don't know how i got it, don't know how long I've had it… I've just been managing it."

    Rampone says the condition zaps her energy but doesn't stop her.

    "For the most part it hasn’t really interfered with my play."

    But it has caused some scary moments on the home front says husband Chris.

    "It's kind of scary because she has these nights when she is kind of paranoid when she thinks somebody is in the house and she can't sleep that's when this all started," said Chris Rampone.

    Wherever it started, there are certain times when Lyme doesn’t seem to bother Rampone -- when’s she’s training or playing soccer.

    "For right now, everything is going good."

    Rampone leads her team onto the pitch Wednesday as they open group play at noon EST against France.


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