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Carrie Johnson Takes on Crohns, and Kayaking

I am fully obsessed with the Olympics these days, but no one grabs my attention more than an athlete who's overcome great odds to compete in Beijing.

Carrie Johnson, a California native, will represent Team USA in kayaking starting today. She's got her sights set on the gold, but also on staying healthy. Carrie was diagnosed with Crohns disease — an autoimmune condition in the digestive track that plagues folks with severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, and extreme fatigue — when she was only 19 years old (she is now 24). Along with learning how to deal with the disease in everyday life, she has also had to figure out how to deal with it while training. Many would have thrown in the towel a long time ago, but she uses the disease as motivation to push even harder.

I'll certainly be cheering her on this week as the women's heats start today, followed by the semifinals on Aug. 21, and the final on Aug. 23. Check NBC for times in your area.


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