Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Parade

Last Saturday I participated in the 2008 Colorado Springs Christmas Parade. There were 45 total athletes from the Olympic Training Center that participated as well as many many other floats and groups from Colorado Springs. We were honored enough to have Lopez Lomar who you may remember carrying the American flag at opening ceremonies leading Team USA. Lopez yet again lead our group of athletes by carrying the American Flag in front of the supportive community of Colorado Springs. We had a great time walking, waving and even jumping out of line here and there to high five people in the crowd. I was even able to find my parents in the crowd and ran over to high five them. My mom was going crazy....imagine that :) Walking to the start of the parade, I couldn't get any good pictures because it was so dark out !
Lopez Lomar USA Weightlifting Resident Athletes, Zach Krych, Patrick Judge and I

Make-A-Wish Foundation

The USOC and Make-A-Wish Foundation held a Holiday Wish Store on December 8 at the Colorado Springs U.S. Olympic Training Center's visitor Center. The weather started to change quickly (it has a tendency to do that here !) and the snow was rolling in over the mountains. We had a good turn out, but I believe there would have had more children if the roads weren't starting freeze and the snow coming down. I did get to help 3 children, Joey, Cameron and Andrew shop for their families. They were all very happy to be there and buy presents for their families, friends and teachers. This was a great opportunity to work with children and give back to the community. This is something I would like to start doing every year on regular basis.
(All photos taken by Scott Cronk)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Habitat for Humanity Olympic and Paralympic Build Day

2008 U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Join Colorado Springs' Habitat for Humanity for Olympic and Paralympic Build Day Nov. 22 11/19/2008 COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, as well as Olympic alumni and hopefuls, are joining together to celebrate the spirit of the Olympic Movement on Saturday, Nov. 22, at Olympic and Paralympic Build Day with Habitat for Humanity in Colorado Springs, Colo. Also as a part of the Team for Tomorrow humanitarian fund, U.S. athletes around the country are working with their local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, spreading the spirit of Olympism while making a difference in their hometown communities. Beijing Olympians and Paralympians participating in Nov. 22's all-day build in Northeast Colorado Springs include U.S. flag bearer and track & field athlete Lopez Lomong (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and volleyball silver medalist Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.). Joining them are cyclist Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif.), pentathlete Eli Bremer (Monument, Colo.), weightlifter Carissa Gump (Essex, Vt.), Paralympic cyclist and skier Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo.), wrestler Brad Vering (Howells, Neb.) and women's volleyball coach Tom Hogan (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Also lending helping hands during the build day are 2004 Olympic fencer Cody Mattern-Nagengast (Tigard, Ore.), Olympic shooting hopeful Amy Sowash (Richmond, Ky.), three-time kayak Olympian and U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Chief Operating Officer Norman Bellingham (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and three-time handball Olympian and U.S. Paralympics staff member Laura Ryan (Colorado Springs, Colo.). The Colorado Springs family receiving the home after its completion will also work alongside the athletes during the build. Olympic and Paralympic Build Day with Habitat for Humanity is a part of the USOC's Team for Tomorrow fund. Launched prior to the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Team for Tomorrow is the ongoing humanitarian relief effort of America's Olympic and Paralympic Teams that consists of donations, volunteerism and other relief contributions to organizations including Habitat for Humanity, the selected cause of the 2008 teams. Activities like the inaugural Olympic and Paralympic Build Day with Habitat for Humanity allow America's top athletes to gain an even deeper meaning out of representing the United States as an Olympic and Paralympic athlete. Through the fund, athletes also help further the Olympic Ideals of goodwill, understanding, tolerance and harmony. Through the fund, several athletes have already donated service hours to Habitat for Humanity affiliates in communities around the nation, including Olympic race walker Phillip Dunn (San Diego, Calif.), Paralympic swimming gold medalist Aaron Paulson (Portland, Ore.) and Olympic field hockey players Lauren Powley (San Diego, Calif.) and Amy Tran (Norfolk, Va.). Dozens more U.S. athletes are expected to participate this winter and spring. Team for Tomorrow has also extended its reach beyond the United States to people in need around the globe. On behalf of the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Teams, the USOC donated 1,000 relief tents to survivors of the May 12 earthquake in China's Sichuan Province that left approximately 5 million people homeless. The tents, which can sleep 8-10 people each, were transported to Chengdu, Sichuan, China, where they have assisted thousands of victims who lost their homes in the earthquake. The earthquake relief efforts and the inaugural Olympic and Paralympic Build Day with Habitat for Humanity are just two ways America's Olympians and Paralympians are making a difference beyond the playing fields. In the future, in partnership with the 2010 and 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, the Team for Tomorrow fund will partner with other causes in the United States and around the world to continue spreading the spirit of the Olympic Movement. Media interested in attending the Olympic and Paralympic Build Day with Habitat for Humanity, as well as obtaining photos or quotes, should contact Lindsay DeWall at As a service to our readers, Around the Rings will provide verbatim texts of selected press releases issued by Olympic-related organizations, federations, businesses and sponsors. These press releases appear as sent to Around the Rings and are not edited for spelling, grammar or punctuation. This article can be found at:

America For Gold 5k Fun Run

Almost 2 weeks ago I volunteered at the first ever America For Gold 5K fun run. There were about 10 athletes that showed up to participate. There were massage several therapists on site as well as two chiropractors for the runners to be treated by upon completing the run. Also there bagels and fruit were donated so everyone could have a bite to eat. And there off.....
The Winner !

I started the clock at the beginning of the face and then when the athletes crossed the finish line took down the times to determine placement.

I had a good time hanging out with Kevin, Emily, Will, Andrea, Eli, Cami and Blatchy !

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Today Show Video and Article

It always seems to be about food.....I guess that's what you get being a weightlifter !



See what's in my fridge !

A really cool interactive Associated Press article I did before Beijing....check out what's in my fridge ! Click on this link: Click "See Carissa's fridge" and then drag your mouse over items in my fridge to see what my friend Adam Korzun the US Olympic Training Center's dietitan had to say about my choices.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More Photos from the Air Force Game

Talking with people at the Fan Fest Tent before the game.
Talking with people at the Fan Fest Tent in the cold ! Aysa Miller, Ali Jones and I on the field waiting to be introduced to a crowd of 25,000 !
"The Bird" doing the Bird dance, we were cracking up....

U.S. Air Force Academy Football Game

On Thursday this past week myself and 10 other Colorado Olympians were invited to attend an Air Force Academy Football Game. We arrived at 4:00 and sat outside under a tent and signed autographs for about an hour and a half in the cold. I was all bundled up and looked like a marshmallow ! After signing autographs we went to the Blue and Silver Club and had dinner and watched the game inside at the warm box seats ! At half time we walked down to the field where were were recognized and announced to a crowd of 25,000 people. The crowd was very excited that we were there which made it worth it to stand out in the cold that long !
Our end of the table....Mike Blatchford (Track Cycling), Myles Porter (Para-Judo), Myself, Ryan Reser (Judo), Myles friend (Judo), and Taylor Takata (Judo)
"The Bird" and I My good friend Ali Jones, who is amazing....Parlympian in Track Cycling AND down hill skiing, she has a Parlympic Gold Medal from skiing and Silver from Beijing for Track cycling !

Panoramic of the Air Force Academy Football field (Compliments of Mike Blatchford !)

For more information on the event check out this article:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

From USA Weightliftings Web Page-October 23, 2008

Prior to leaving for the Olympic Games in Beijing, Carissa Gump was contacted by Captain Jason Krist from the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson Army Post in Colorado Springs, CO. He made a special request to Carissa, in hopes that she would bring two American flags to the Games on behalf of him and the infantry. Carissa made a point to hang the two flags in her room in the Olympic Village.
On September 19th, 2008, Carissa presented both flags to Captain Krist at the end of a Changing of the Guard ceremony at Fort Carson. One of the flags will be kept by Captain Krist. The other will be transported next month to Iraq, and flown there at a US Army post.
Captain Krist's commanding officer also honored Carissa with a medal for making the Olympic team, and for honoring their request in China.

Trip To Vermont

Well its been about 2 weeks since I have been back from attending the Vermont State Recreation and Fitness Expo. My trip was only 3 days long but I had a wonderful time seeing my teammates, friends and coach.
Saturday and Sunday were spent at the Champlain Valley Expo Center at the fairgrounds. Team Vermont Weightlifting had a booth with a platform, weights and a table set up to meet and talk with people to spread the word about Olympic Style Weightlifting, not power lifting :)
The weather that particular weekend was sunny and warm which did not help pull the crowds in. Saturday evening I met up with a close group of friends of mine from High School, it was really great to see everyone again, it made me want to move back ! I left Sunday afternoon and flew back to Colorado Springs. Overall I had a really great time with everyone and don't think it will be long before I come back to visit again.

Big Ben Fuller, Katie Polakowski and I

Katie Polakowski taking a workout

Coach Pol, Mrs. Coach Pol, Katie Pol, Ben Fuller and I

Katie 'mocking' me :) Coach Pol and I

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

2008 Olympic Team White House Visit

On early yesterday morning I flew out of Colorado Springs and flew into Washington D.C. from there I had an hour and a half bus ride to Baltimore. The ride went by really fast, I had good company sharing the seat next to me, Gretta Nielms a Parlympic Track Cyclist. We arrived at 6pm and checked in, got our outfitting and settled into our rooms. My roommate was my teammate Melanie Roach. We ate dinner around 7pm and enjoyed a wonderful meal and a short video. After dinner we were free to do what we wanted and went to the hotel lobby and a pub around the corner. The next morning we woke at 5am and had breakfast at 5:30am. We were up and going on the bus driving back to Washington D.C. by 6:30. I took this time to squeeze in some more sleep time. Washington D.C. has beautiful weather today. Warm with a little bit of a breeze, it made it perfect for the morning. Around 300 of us were arranged in front of the South Side of the White House for photos and a 10 minute speech by President Bush. Following the speech we went inside the White House and toured several rooms that are open to the public. We were at the White House for 3 hours and the time flew by. Before you knew it we were back on the bus and off to the airport. I took many photos but these are just a few I wanted to share.

Monday, September 29, 2008

America For Gold 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run

America for Gold is proud to present our First Annual 5k and 1 mile Fun Run for kids to support America's athletes training for the Summer and Winter Games. Put on your running shoes and gear up for a great Fall 5k on this beautiful course through Palmer Park in Colorado Springs. The course begins in the Maizeland parking lot off of Academy. The course will take you up and around this scenic park on road and trails. America For Gold is a non-profit organization created by athletes for athlete's. This 5k is put on to raise awareness about the financial struggles many of OUR athletes face and to help raise funds on their journey for the 2010 and 20212 Games. parking is available in the Palmer Park parking lot at 3650 Maizeland Road. Race registration starts at 7:30am with a race start time of 9:00am for the 5k and 10:00 am for the 1 mile Fun Run. Lots of unique giveaways and refreshments will be provided after the race.
Location: Palmer Park, 3650 Maizeland Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Date: November 8, 2008
Registration Fee: $20 for the 5 K, and $10 for the 1 mile fun run up to age 15
Awards: Since we are a non-profit and raising money for America's Athletes, we will not have prizes for age groups. However we will have many unique prizes that will be given away thought race number drawings and everyone will receive a participation award.
Packed Pick-up and Race day Registration: 7:30-8:45am Race Day in the Maizeland Road parking lot. Race begins at 9:00 am and 1 mile fun run begins at 10:00am.
If you are unable to come and run but would like to donate please visit:
Thank You for your support and Good Luck !

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Diabetes Walk Update and Photos

Two weekends ago I participated in the 2008 Diabetes Walk at the America the Beautiful Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The team I walked with was called "Team DNA." We had a total of 35 walkers and raised $4533.00 and there are still donations coming in ! Below is a photo of the walkers of Team DNA and the other photo is of the walkers who have Type 1 diabetes. Thanks to everyone for their donations and support !

Friday, September 19, 2008

100 Athlete. 100 Blogs. Lenovo Voices of the Olympic Games !

This is a short video about bloggers (including myself) experiences

at the Olympic Games, its a great video, please watch it !

Blogging has truly changed the future of the Olympic Games experience for the world !

Friday, September 12, 2008

Article in USA Today !

11 Bulgarian weightlifters banned for doping SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Two members of Bulgaria's national weightlifting team were banned for life Thursday and nine others suspended in a doping scandal that barred the team from the Beijing Olympics. The entire 11-member squad tested positive in June for the steroid methandienone. Georgi Markov and Alan Tsagaev received life bans because this was their second doping offense, the government's department for youth and sports said. Another six men and three women were suspended for four years. The department said it was notified of the bans by the International Weightlifting Federation. Bulgaria's weightlifting federation must also pay a fine of $450,000 to the IWF.

September Update !

I have been back from Beijing for several weeks now. I started school a week after I returned from the Olympics, started working, and took a few weeks off of training. It took 5 days to get back on a normal sleeping pattern. The first day back I was up at 4am. I went grocery shopping at about 5am, and was the first customer in line at the post office to mail my goodies to my coach from China.
The next few weeks I will be busy with a few things. Tomorrow I am participating in the Juvenile Diabetes Walk in Colorado Springs. It is a 3 mile walk to support finding a cause for Type 1 diabetes. My father has diabetes so I understand what a struggle it can be to live a normal everyday life with this disease. The theme this year is "Be a Hero." The lady that my dad is friends with contacted to the director and I will be announced and signing autographs at the end of the walk. I love doing things with the public, especially if it involves children.
Over the next couple of weeks I will also be doing a public speaking engagement with the U.S. Junior National Ski Team at the Olympic Training Center, a dinner with the Hilton, Sprite, and a meet and greet at the 24 Hour Fitness Club in southern Colorado Springs. Between school, training (5x's a week now !), working (2 jobs this month!) and appearances I am going to be very busy for the next month !

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Congratulations to all of the drug-free Beijing Olympians !

I have had several comments left regarding my opinion on drug testing at the Olympics, so I thought this would be an appropriate time to address my feelings.
Despite all the articles I have read on the Internet about drug usage at the Olympic Games they all seem to contradict each other. Some articles say that the cheaters have all been weeded out, others say that they are still there. I am optimistic about the playing field becoming more even, you may call me naive if you want.
At the 2000 Olympics there were 12 positive drug tests, at the 2004 Olympics there were 26. As of right now there are only 6 out of the estimated 4,600 tests done ! To my understanding the top 5 finishers of every sport, plus two random were tested, also there were 2652 tests done 2 weeks prior to the Olympics starting. Doping samples taken at the Olympic Games will be contained for 8 years to recheck as testing advances over the next couple of years, the cheaters can still be identified.
I am sure that there are still some cheaters out there, but they will be caught. Drug testing is advancing and will only continue to advance. By London I think most of the cheaters will be weeded out by having stricker policies and violoations.
For more information on doping check out these links:
The United States Anti-Doping Agency
The World Anti-Doping Agency

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

From Beijing !

While at the Silk Market I met David Alofsin from Burlington, Vermont ! I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado and rarely meet anyone from Vermont, that happens maybe once a year ! I have to come all the way to Beijing to run into someone from Vermont ! Pretty cool !

Monday, August 18, 2008

Adventures at the Silk Market

What an adventure....the Silk Market in Beijing ! This is also known as the Pearl market. It is I believe 8 stories high and then 2 stories below ground. We had been hearing about this place since we landed in Beijing. Everyone says this is the place to go shopping. They have clothing, jewelry, purses, luggage, electronics, you name it.
My parents and I started off by taking a cab there. When we pulled up from we saw a large crowd of people standing outside trying to get in. We entered the building not knowing what was going to happen next....what an experience. In the market each vendor had a small little area to sell their goods. They would stand out side and yell "Hey lady hey want purse" or "Hey mister need nice suit." This was the nice stuff they were saying....later on a vendor would say to my mother "You stupid cheap cheap" We thought this was very funny, mainly because my mom is pretty cheap (sorry mom !). Then my Dad walked by a vendor and the man yelled "Mister you need shirt" my dad said jokingly "Sorry I am to fat" as the man held up a small shirt the man responded with "We have fat man size." All in all we had a great time. We bought several gift items such as jade and pearl necklaces.
Leaving the market was also an adventure. With there being so many people and not enough taxis in the area it was a fight to get a cab. This is one of the funniest memories I will ever have of my Mom on this trip. We stood for about 10 minutes waiting for a cab. I was watching a cab drive by me and I turned to see if it had pulled over. I then turn to see my Mom throw herself out into the passing cab and grab onto the back door handle and run almost 30 feet with the cab. She was determined to get a cab and get out of there. It was pretty funny to see my 54 year old mother throw her self into a cab, grab onto the door handle with one hand and keep holding onto her bags of gifts she had just bought. My dad and I stood there laughing.
Stay tuned !!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lets catch up !

Wednesday was the first day that I had to do anything I wanted and not worry about my training schedule. It was time to spend with my parents and husband ! My parents and Jason arrived at the Olympic Village around 10:30 and stayed til almost 2:00. We spent time in the Olympic Village Learning Center learning how to speak Chinese and write our Chinese name with special ink and brushes. My mom was hilarious trying to speak Chinese. She would say everything exactly how it was spelled. However though they look one way they are pronounced another way and have different sounds. She was so funny, everyone was laughing at her but she gets an A for effort ! We had lunch and walked around the Village. I showed them the amazing gardens, the game room, dining hall and "International Zone." The International Zone has several gift shops, a tea house, florist, post office, as well as a bank. From the village we hired a taxi to drive us to the Great Wall. It was easier and cheaper to do it this way than to go no a day bus tour. It cost us $45 (American) to drive there and another $45 back. Then cost of admission of around $14 (American). We drove about an hour all through the country side of China to reach the section of the Great Wall that was open to the public. We arrived and were swarmed by vendors trying to see us anything of everything. They would start off at 400 yuan ($57.00) and you could haggle with them down to 70 yuan ($10.00) Mom and I did this a few times. We both bought silk robes and silk table runners for our dining room tables. The people were a bit over whelming trying to see us stuff, they would not leave you alone and would just follow you saying "Friend friend, I give you good deal !" My husband was even able to get a vendor down on 2 beers ! We rode to the top of the mountain by an enclosed tram to reach the Great Wall. It was worlds can express how incredible this man name structure is. Its so big you can't even fathom....we saw just a small section yet it is 4,000 miles long ! It was very hot, we drank a ton of water to stay as hydrated as we could. I don't know why but I wore flip flops that day....not such a great idea to wear when walking on the Great Wall ! We spent about 2 hours there and headed back to the city of Beijing to have dinner at the Bank of America House and then were in bed by 9:30 !

More great photos !

AMAZING !! Jason and I standing on the great wall !


This is the tram line that took us up to the Great Wall....what an experience ! My parents !

Family Photos !

Mom, Dad, Jason and I at the Olympic Village Learning Center where we learned to speak chinese and even write our chinese names !
Boys will be boys....Dad and Jason having a beer before going to to the great wall !

We took this itty bitty tram up to the great wall...I hate heights

And up we go !! (I am scared out of my mind right now, don't look down !!!!)

Jason and I seconds before stepping on to the Great Wall !