Mia Hamm has been a role model for girls since she established herself as one of the greatest female athletes of all time.
Mia Hamm is the soccer champion widely regarded as the world's best all-around women's soccer player. At 15, she became the youngest woman to ever make the U.S. Women's National Team and went on to win two FIFA World Cups in 1991 and 1999. By her retirement in 2004, Hamm's 158 goals made her the record holder of international goals among both male and female soccer players until 2013, when fellow American Abby Wambach broke her record. She won FIFA World Player of the Year twice.
At the 1996 Summer Olympics, Hamm and her teammates including Michelle Akers, Brandi Chasten, and Kristine Lilly brought home the gold. In 2004, they did it again. Having seen the enormous support she and her teammates received at the World Cup and the Olympics Games, Hamm became a founding member of the Women's United Soccer Association, the first professional women's soccer league.
Hamm's other accolades include being elected Soccer USA's female athlete of the year five years in a row (1994-1998), MVP of the Women's Cup in 1995 and the winner of three ESPY awards, including Soccer Player of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year. In 2004, she and teammate Michelle Akers were put on FIFA's list of the 125 greatest living soccer players, the only two women and only two Americans to be named.
Following the passing of her brother, Hamm created Mia Hamm Foundation, dedicated to two causes: raising funds and awareness for families needing marrow or cord blood transplants and continuing the growth in opportunities for young women in sports.
"My life has taken the path it has because of sports, but we need to continue to push forwards and make sure we get girls as many opportunities as possible."