Mia Hamm (Mariel Margaret Hamm)

Mariel Margaret “Mia” Hamm is a retired United States football (soccer) player. With 158 international goals, Hamm has scored more international goals than any other (female or male) football player in the world. She is one of the names on the list of FIFA’s 125 Best Living Players, a list that contains only two women and only two person’s from the United States. Hamm received the women’s FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2001 and 2002. In 1999, Nike named the largest building on their corporate campus after Hamm.

Career

Senior career

Years            Team                                      Apps                                                         Gls

1989–1993    North Carolina Tar Heels       100                                                           103

2001–2003    Washington Freedom             49                                                             25

National team

1987–2004    United States                           275                                                         158

 

International play

At the record breaking tender age of 15, Hamm joined the U.S. women’s national football team. In 1991, when Hamm was 19 years old, the team won the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time. The team repeated the feat in 1999, and with over 90,000 spectators in the Rose Bowl arena the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup final surpassed the Atlanta Olympic final as the most-attended women’s sports event in the United States.

In 1993, Hamm played with the American National college team in the Summer Universiade and helped her team to a silver medal. With six goals, she was the top scorer.

In 1999, Hamm broke the all-time international goal record by scoring her 108th goal.

In 2004, Hamm announced that she would retire after the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. The U.S. team won a gold medal in Athens and Hamm was chosen to carry the U.S. flag at the Athens Closing Ceremonies. When Hamm retired at the age of 32, she had played 259 international games and scored 158 international goals.

High school, college and club play

During high school, Hamm played for Notre Dame Catholic High School in Wichita Falls, Texas. When she moved to Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia she joined their football team and won the 1989 State Championships with them.

During her time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels won four National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s championships with Hamm on the team. Hamm refrained from playing the 1991 season with the Tar Heels since she needed to focus on the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China. During the 95 matches Hamm played with the Tar Heels they only lost one. During her last three years at university, she was an All-American and Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, and she was also named ACC Female Athlete of the Year in 1993 and 1994.

For the majority of Hamm’s career, there were no fully professional football leagues for women in the United States and as a result she only spent three seasons playing club soccer. She jointed Washington Freedom in 2001, and helped her team to a victory in Founders Cup in 2003 before the league folded.

Private life

  • Mariel Margaret Hamm was born in Selma, Alabama in 1972.
  • Her parents are named Bill and Stephanie.
  • Mia has five sibblings.
  • Mia grew up on Air Force bases. The family moved a lot, and resided in places such as Italy and Texas.
  • Mia was born with a club foot and had to wear corrective shoes as a young child.
  • In 1997, Mia’s brother Garrett died from a rare blood disease (aplastic anemia).
  • Mia married her college sweetheart Christiaan Corry, a Marine helicopter pilot. After six years of marriage, the couple divorced in 2001.
  • In 2003, Mia married Nomar Garciaparra from Boston Red Sox. The couple has twin daughters, Grace Isabella and Ava Caroline, born in 2007.
  • Mia has founded the Mia Hamm Foundation. The foundation aids patients in need of marrow or cord blood transplants, and is also focused on promoting the development of more opportunities for young women to participate in sports.
  • Together with Tisha Venturini and Kristine Lilly, Mia operates the TeamFirst Soccer Academy. The academy arranges youth soccer camps throughout the United States.
  • Mia is a global ambassador for FC Barcelona.