“Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her.”
- MIA HAMM
Mia Hamm (Born March 17, 1972, in Selma, Alabama) is a former American soccer player who competed with the U.S. women’s national soccer team for 17 years. She won the Women’s World Cup in 1991 and 1999, and took Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004. Hamm is considered the best female soccer player in history. Hamm was named FIFA’s World Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002. Hamm held the record for most international goals scored until June 2013, when her record was broken by fellow American player Abby Wambach. Hamm went to Nortre Dame Cahtolic High School, Lake Braddock Secondary School, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Hamm’s other accolades include being selected Soccer USA’s “Female Athlete of the Year” five years in a row (1994-98), being named MVP of the Women’s Cup (1995) and winning three ESPY Awards, including in the “Soccer Player of the Year” and “Female Athlete of the Year” categories. In 2004, she and teammate Michelle Akers were named on FIFA’s list of the “125 Greatest Living Soccer Players”—becoming the only women and only Americans to be named to the list at that time.
In 1994, Hamm married her college sweetheart, Christiaan Corry. The couple split in 2001, and Hamm married professional baseball player Nomar Garciaparra in 2003. After helping her team win gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Hamm retired to start a family.
In 1999, Hamm founded the Mia Hamm Foundation, which is dedicated to bone marrow research, after her brother, Garrett, died of complications from a rare blood disease called aplastic anemia shortly after the 1996 Olympics.