On This Day 1999: Where Were You When Mia Hamm Led Team to World Cup Victory?
Even as the world saw her as best all-around women's soccer player, Mia Hamm doubted herself when her coach told her she was to take a penalty shot that could possibly break the tie between the U.S. and China in the shootout of the final 1999 World Cup match. With more than 99,000 captivated fans filling the Rose Bowl on July 10th, 1999, Hamm connected with the ball on her penalty kick, and along with her incredible teammates including Brandi Chastain, helped lead the U.S. National Women's team to victory.
After Hamm's successful kick, Chastain scored the final penalty kick to give the United States the dramatic win over China. In one of the most iconic moments in sports history, Chastain spontaneously whipped off her jersey and fell to her knees in a sports bra, her fists clenched. The photographs of the scene became synonymous with women's sports victory!
It was an event that few watching could forget. Still to this day, Hamm says that people come up to her to tell her where they were during the '99 penalty kicks.