_0009_christie_ramponeChristine Rampone

When the U.S national women’s soccer team captured the World Cup on Sunday night, Christie Rampone and Abby Wambach were the first to hoist the trophy in the air, an honor bestowed on them as captains of the team.

Rampone also had another distinction: At age 40, she became the oldest women’s soccer player to ever appear in a World Cup final.

Rampone, a professional soccer player and mother of two, was 24 when she played on the 1999 U.S national team, the last to bring home the World Cup before Sunday night. She was the only player from the 1999 team on the current U.S. team, and has represented the United States in five World Cup tournaments.

Last month, at age 39, she became the oldest player to appear in a World Cup game, when the United States defeated Nigeria, 1-0. She had her 40th birthday on June 24.

Rampone, a defender, has had more than the usual challenges of staying in competitive shape as she ages and raises a family. In 2010, Lyme disease was diagnosed in her. So she has had to take particular care to keep her immune system healthy.

We’re thrilled about the U.S. women’s triumph, and we have a little extra awe for Rampone, who has overcome extra challenges in achieving her goals.


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