Mia Hamm Success Story
Mia Hamm was an American soccer player who held the record for the highest number of international goals by either a male or female in soccer history. In 2013, fellow American Abby Wambach overtook her record of 158 goals. Mia is also the third highest capped female soccer player with a total of 275 international appearances.
Mia was named as the women’s FIFA Player of the year in 2001 and 2002. She was listed in the FIFA’s 125 best living players list which was chosen by soccer legend Pele. She is part of the U.S.A.’s National Soccer Hall of Fame and of the World Football Hall of Fame.
‘Mariel Margaret’ Mia Hamm was born on March 17, 1972 at Selma, Alabama. She was born with a club foot for which she had to wear corrective shoes as a toddler. But soon she was on the field seeing her five siblings playing different sports. She was introduced to soccer during their family’s stay in Italy.
When she went to Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia she became a part of the soccer team and soon helped her team to win the state championships in 1989. In the year 1989 she joined the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
She helped her team to win the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) women’s championships in 1989 and 1990. She first became part of the women’s national soccer team at the age of 15 in 1987. In 1991, she was called up to the national team to participate in the Women’s World Cup in China. She contributed to her team winning the World Cup with decisive goals in crucial moments.
She continued her brilliant performances by helping her university team win the NCAA championships again in 1992 and 1993. When she left the university she was in the record books for being the highest scorer ever with 103 goals and 72 assists.Again Mia was part of the World Cup squad in 1995. This time their team lost 1-0 to Norway in the semi-finals and had to settle for a bronze medal. Again when U.S.A. hosted the Olympics in 1996, there were high expectations on the women’s soccer team and especially on Mia Hamm. She came up with useful contributions to help her secure the Gold Medal by beating China 2-1 in the finals.
The final brought more than 70,000 people to the stadium. Mia Hamm held cult status in her home country because of her various achievements and her star personality. This was able to popularise the game of soccer in the U.S. and also bring in huge crowds to the stadiums.
In the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Mia Hamm took centre stage once again and helped her side lift the trophy. The final brought in more than 90,000 people to the stadium. Next came the 2004 Olympics and again Mia ensured that her team won the Gold Medal. She retired after the Olympics at the age of 32.
From her 275 appearances she scored 158 goals. She has been a recipient of numerous awards and is recognised as one of the most influential soccer players of all time. Her love for the game has propelled her to reach the zenith of women’s football and inspire millions of people to play sports actively.
Texas Sports Hall of Fame
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
FIFA World Player of the Year
FIFA World Player of the Year
Sportswoman of the Year