Former Point Pleasant resident and soon-to-be four-time Olympian Christie Rampone, Captain of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, recently made an important stop on her journey to the site of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England: the K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, located at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.
Rampone, who graduated from Point Pleasant Borough High School, and currently resides in Manasquan with her husband Chris, and daughters Rylie and Reece, addressed fans and Jersey Shore University Medical Center staff in person at a pep rally held in her honor on June 26. Rampone also acts as the local spokesperson for the K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
“It’s my family here, I love coming back. I love the support that everybody gives me,” said Rampone. “Everyone here inspires me to be a better person, a better role model, a better athlete and a better teammate.”
Rampone also assured those in attendance that this summer’s games would get her best effort, as they will be her final trip to the Olympics in her soccer career.
“I’m going to make sure that I make everybody proud here by representing the country at the Olympics,” said Rampone.
Rampone described that the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team is the only one to finish in at least the top three spots in every tournament they’ve competed in.
“We’re going to do our best to come home with a medal, hopefully it will be a gold medal, and inspire everybody,” she said.
After her address, Rampone took extra time to sign soccer balls, autograph photos and take pictures with all of her fans in attendance.
Steve Littleson, President of Jersey Shore University Medical Center, spoke of how grateful the hospital is to welcome Rampone for her visits.
“We are always excited to host Christie when she comes to Jersey Shore University Medical Center. She is a great partner with the K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, and we are so proud of the fact that she is headed to London to play in her fourth Olympics,” said Littleson.
Hospital spokesman Robert Cavanaugh explained that a “welcome home” reception had been held for Rampone last year, upon her return from the World Cup Tournament, and with her impending departure for the Olympics this year, they thought it would be a great idea to have a send-off celebration for Rampone.
“We had a great turnout at the event, as it filled our atrium. We had between 200 and 300 children in attendance, and radio station 94.3 'The Point' helped to MC the event also,” Cavanaugh explained.
Cavanaugh also said that the hospital couldn’t ask for a better spokesperson, and that it was great to have such a positive role model in the local area to meet with children at an event of this nature.
Rampone earned a silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, and gold medals at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, held in Athens, Greece and Beijing, China, respectively.
Those looking to follow Rampone’s athletic exploits at the 2012 Olympic Games, can log on to Meridian Momtourage, where the soccer star will be blogging weekly on her experience during the athletic competition.