Olympic kayaker Carrie Johnson
competed in her third Olympics in London in 2012. She is focused on her sport, but she also must take time out to deal with a health problem that started before she competed in the 2004 Olympics in Athens: Crohn's disease
An Unexpected Diagnosis:
In 2003, when Johnson was training for the Olympics in Athens, she began having gastrointestinal symptoms that confounded her doctors. It took about six months to finally settle on the diagnosis of Crohn's disease. She was able to get a handle on the Crohn's disease and participate in Athens, where she competed in the kayak fours and in the women's 500 meters semifinals. Johnson placed tenth, which was the highest place by a kayaker from the United States. Johnson once again competed in the women's 500 meters semifinals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
An Injury Leads To The Water:
Johnson took a circuitous route to the sport of kayaking. She was originally a gymnast, and participated in that sport for 11 years, but wound up breaking her arm. While she was training to be a lifeguard in the San Diego Jr. Lifeguard program, she got into kayaking
through Chris Barlow, of her teachers and the founder of the San Diego Canoe and Kayak Team.
Life With Crohn's Disease:
She has modified her training to accommodate her Crohn's disease. Running tends to set off symptoms for her, so she does more training on her road bike
. She has also found a way to streamline her training schedule, focusing on quality rather than quantity.
Johnson has a degree in biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego, and after the London Olympics she intends to pursue a veterinary degree at the University of California, Davis.
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