Mia Hamm

2 min read
Mia Hamm, possibly the USís best female soccer player ever, maintains that she owes all her success to the scholarship she received as a teenager. Mia attended the University of North Carolina, where she was a major player in the Tar Heels womenís soccer team. She states that her success at North Carolina was the reason for her phenomenal professional career, and as a result, she has become an advocate for more sports scholarships for girls. In 1987, aged just 15, Mia became the youngest player ever to play on the US womenís national soccer team. She would remain a member of the national team for 17 years, until her retirement in 2004. However, she has stated that, had she not been recruited by North Carolina, from her high school in Wichita Falls in Texas, she would not have been able to continue to play soccer into her future. She maintained her position on the national team during her time with the Tar Heels, redshirting during her sophomore season in order to appear at the 1991 FIFA Womenís World Cup. In 1995, Mia graduated, with a degree in political science and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) record for the most goals scored. She was limited in her options, as for the majority of her career, there was no professional soccer league for women. Instead, she focused in her part in the national team, appearing in 2 Olympic games and 3 World Cups. She became a two time gold medalist, as well as achieving the record for the most international goals, in the history of soccer. In 2001, frustrated at the lack of opportunity for women soccer players in the US, Hamm was influential in the establishment of the new Womenís United Soccer Association, becoming a founding player for the team Washington Freedom. She has frequently spoke out about how important she feels it is for girls to participate in sports like soccer, and has become a role model for many little girls, something she describes as her greatest ever goal.  

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