In this video
Champion soccer player Mia Hamm on her early love for soccer and how it eventually led to an incredible record-breaking career, including two FIFA World Cup wins that would inspire a whole new world of sports for young girls.
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.
At the 1996 Summer Olympics, Hamm and her teammates including Michelle Akers, Brandi Chastain, 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 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 the 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.
More From Mia
A League of Their Own
Although Hamm was fortunate to be sponsored by Nike, most female soccer players could not make the same commitment to play soccer full-time until a unified player agreement was created.
What Title IX Gave Me
Hamm on the impact Title IX had on her as a talented soccer player who was able to earn a degree at the University of North Carolina because of her sport.
Going Through Life In A Team
Hamm talks about the power of being one part of an entire team and how it's important to value your own talents instead of what you lack.
Advice Girls Need to Hear
Hamm on what young girls should hear growing up about working hard in order to achieve the goals they deserve to reach.
The '99 World Cup
Hamm shares her gratitude at the overwhelming support and recognition following the '99 World Cup and how touching it was to learn how many people outside the stadium were along for the team's journey.
"I Never Thought That This Would Be Possible"
Hamm on how even though her team lost in the 1995 Women's World Cup, simply being a part of it meant everything considering that growing up there was no Women's World Cup.
Gift of Competitiveness
Hamm explains that while maybe she wasn't the best in choir or math growing up, she understood her own talent, which was her competitiveness on the field.
Had to Be Better
Hamm on the rapid pace in which she jumped to the national level and the moment she knew she had to become a better soccer player.
Growing Up Base to Base
Hamm talks about how playing sports at the different air force bases she lived on growing up helped create a common bond among the children and taught her an early lesson about team work.