Photo: Bob Levery/FOX Sports/Getty Images
Long before the US Women’s Soccer Team won the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Mia Hamm paved the way for female soccer players.
At 15 years old, She became the youngest player on the North American Women’s National Soccer Team. He played as a striker for 17 years, including four FIFA World Cups and three Olympic Games.
Hamm won two Olympic gold medals for his country and four NCAAA degrees for the University of North Carolina.
She was named by FIFA as “World Player of the Year” twice. When he retired from football in 2004, he had the most career goals of any person (regardless of gender) in international football. Today he has the third most goals in his career in international football.
Hamm was born Mariel Margaret Hamm in Selma, Alabama, in 1972, the same year that the federal Title IX law was enacted. Title IX prohibited gender discrimination in any educational program or activity funded by the federal government. It opened up new opportunities in sports for girls and women.
A generation after Title IX, the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia marked several victories for American athletes. Hamm and the American team won a gold medal in women’s soccer. The 1996 Summer Olympics demonstrated the power of American female athletes and the impact of giving students equal opportunities in athletics.
In 2000, Hamm co-founded the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), the first professional women’s soccer league in the United States. JuHe went for the WUSA’s Washington (DC) Freedom for three years.
Since retiring from football in 2004, Hamm continues to promote opportunities for women in sports. Hamm’s career inspired thousands of young people to participate in competitive sports and she popularized women’s soccer in the US. She completed her international career having played 42 games and scored 158 goals in international competitions,