Olympic moms: 13 mothers compete for Team USA

The “Celebrating Moms” series of commercials by Proctor & Gamble during Olympic coverage is a tear-jerking ode to sacrifices mothers make to support their kids’ athletic careers. But what about athletes who are mothers, themselves?

Elite athlete moms have the same run-of-the-mill work/life balance as the rest of us. But these 13 Olympic moms do put parenting – both its challenges and rewards – in a new perspective.

9. Christie Rampone – Soccer

Andrea Comas/Reuters
Christie Rampone, right, and North Korea's Kim Su-gyong fight for the ball during their women's football first round Group G match at Old Trafford in Manchester during the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 31, 2012.

Christie Rampone continued to play soccer during her first trimester when pregnant with her first daughter Rylie in 2005. And then in 2010, she waited three months after her second daughter Reece was born to return to competition. 

With her busy soccer schedule, Ms. Rampone told Redbook magazine that she is away from home up to three weeks at a time. She takes Reece on the road with her and sees Rylie and her husband Chris every couple of weeks.

"I regret missing the day-to-day stuff with Rylie,” Rampone told Redbook. “We talk every day, but with school, gymnastics, and dance class, she is too busy for Mommy. I have wondered, ‘Am I taking too much time for this sport?’ But I try to see the big picture. I'm never going to play a perfect game or be a perfect mom."

As the US women’s soccer team captain, Rampone leads the team as the most-capped player – the player with the most appearances in competition. At the 2011 Women’s World Cup, Ms. Rampone ended the tournament with 244 games played, the fourth all-time worldwide.

This is Rampone’s fourth Olympic games and her second Olympics as team captain. The team defends its gold medals from both Beijing in 2008 and Athens in 2004. In the Sydney Games in 2000, the team placed second.

Rampone has played for the US national team since 1997 and on various professional teams since 1998. In 2011, Rampone played in the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league, playing every minute of the 11-game season.

Rampone will lead the women’s soccer team in the gold medal match against Japan (a re-match from the 2011 Women’s World Cup finals) on Aug. 9.

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