Mia Hamm strives to achieve her goals with extreme determination. She was a young soccer star who, at the age of 15, was the youngest woman ever to compete with the U.S. National Team (1987). She quickly evolved into an astonishingly talented professional athlete. She won 4 NCAA championships (1989, 1990, 1992 & 1993). Twice, Mia Hamm was the FIFA World Player of the Year (2001 and 2002). Twice, she earned Women’s World Cup titles. Five times she was the U.S. Soccer athlete of the year, (male or female, 1994-1996). She was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Olympic Team that won the gold medal during 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia. She was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Olympic Team that won the silver medal during 2000 in Sydney. She was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Olympic Team that won the gold medal in Athens, Greece. She scored more than 138 goals during international competitions. Hamm is ranked second in the FIFA Century Club. She is widely considered to be the best all-around female soccer player in the World. Mia Hamm retired from her astonishing career as a professional soccer player during December, 2004.
Her transition into retirement did not wain her determination to achieve great things and be an astonishing role model. Hamm pursued her Mia Hamm foundation with great gusto. She has focused a tremendous amount of her time and attention on supporting bone marrow transplant patients and families. She is also passionate about increasing opportunities for females to be able to participate in sports.
She was born on March 17, 1972 in Selma, Alabama. As a young girl, named Mariel Margaret Hamm, she traveled extensively. Her father was a U.S. Air force colonel fighter pilot in the military. Her mother was a ballet dancer. She had 5 brothers and sisters. Her Hometown was Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She began playing soccer at around the age of 7. Her brothers and sisters were her team mates. Even though she was competing with the best soccers players in the nation by the age of 15 on the U.S. National Team (1987). She was aware that if she had been born much sooner; these opportunites probably would not have been available for her. Before 1972 there was very little funding available for female athletics in high schools and colleges. When she was born the world was just beginning to recognize how important it is to allow females to participate in sports. During 1972, Senator Birch Bayh and Representative Edith Green sponsored legislation to promote Title IX of the Education Amendments. Once this legislation was passed; sex discrimination in schools regarding academics and athletics was banned. This amendment dramatically impacted Athletic Financial Assistance programs in schools. These legal changes allowed Mia Hamm, Michelle Akers and other famous soccer players to become the athletes they evolved into.
Currently, Mia Hamm promotes The Women’s Sports foundation, http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/. It is an organization that is doing phenomenal things to help girls and women have opportunities to participate in sports and fitness programs. Mia Hamm is also dedicated to promoting The Mia Hamm Foundation, http://www.miafoundation.org. During 1997, her brother, Garret, at the age of 16 was diagnosed with a blood disorder called aplastic anemia. He was in need of a bone marrow transfusion. Garret was of Thai-American decent because Hamm’s parent’s Bill and Stephanie Hamm had adopted Garret as an orphan, they had little knowledge of his heritage. Even though, Garret found a bone marrow donor and received a transplant when he was 28 (1997), he contracted a virus and died. Mia Hamm founded and began the annual “The Garret Game” during 1997, an all star soccer event played by U.S. Soccer players and top college players. During the second annual “The Garret Game”, $150,000 was received in donations. These donations have been assisting bone marrow disease research and families who are experiencing the bone marrow transplant process. Bone marrow contains stem cells. Stem cells produce red blood cells and white blood cells and other blood components. Bone marrow transplants are a common treatment for leukemia patients as well as aplastic anemia patients. The NMDP, The National Marrow Donor Program keeps a national Registry for all volunteer donors. For more information see http://www.marrow.org and http://www.marrow.org/HELP/join_the_registry.html. Mia Hamm’s astonishing list of accomplishments are extensive in the world of athletics; yet, her list of accomplishments hasn’t stopped accumulating. Mia Hamm is continually trying to make this world a better place for countless other people. Mia Hamm is a tremendous pioneer for soccer players, especially female soccer players and for people who are effected by blood plasma transfusions.
Written by: Dawn Perucca