Mia Hamm life and biography

Mia Hamm picture, image, poster

Mia Hamm biography

Date of birth : 1972-03-17
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Selma, Alabama, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-07-06
Credited as : Soccer player, ,

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Mia Hamm (also known as: Mariel Margaret Hamm) born March 17, 1972 in Selma, Alabama is an American soccer player.

An Early Star.
Mariel Margaret "Mia" Hamm was born in Selma, Alabama, on 17 March 1972, one of six siblings. Although most people had not heard of her until the end of the 1990s, when women's World Cup soccer finally received media attention in the United States, she dominated the sport from the end of the 1980s. She made the U.S. national team at age fifteen in 1987 and played for Notre Dame High School in Wichita Falls, Texas. As a three-time collegiate All-American and two-time winner of the prestigious Hermann Award as the best female college soccer player (1992 and 1993), while leading the University of North Carolina Tar Heels to four straight National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships (1989-1993), Hamm was a familiar name and powerful force. She set the NCAA single-season record for points scored with ninety-seven goals. In 1994, UNC retired her number. She was honored as U.S. Soccer's Female Athlete of the Year each year from 1994 to 1998. On December 17, 1994 she married Christian Corey.

World-Class Athlete.
Hamm's career peaked as she became a media darling whose face and form were instantly recognizable after the U.S. women's soccer team won an Olympic gold medal in 1996. In Athens, Georgia, she played in the Olympic finals in front of 78,481 fans and a national television audience. Three years later, during the final game of the World Cup at the sold-out Rose Bowl, Hamm and her teammates, who were collectively voted Associated Press Female Athletes of the Year (1999), played before a television audience of nearly forty million. Even her commercials with Michael Jordan became classics and she has endorsed products ranging from Gatorade to Pert Plus shampoo. After the World Cup championship she shared the spotlight with other talented and recognizable women athletes from the sport, such as Brandi Chastain, Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy, and Shannon McMillan. Hamm was, however, still the marquee name. She became the all-time leading scorer in international soccer when she scored her 108th goal on May 22, 1999.

Changing Times.
The timing of Hamm's rise to national and international prominence was partly an outgrowth of Title IX of the Federal Education Amendments, which President Richard M. Nixon signed into law in 1972, mandating full equality for women's intercollegiate athletics. Women's sports moved beyond the limitations of traditional activities such as tennis and ice skating to such sports as including basketball, golf, swimming, and soccer. In addition, women’s sports in general, soccer in particular, were becoming more popular. When Hamm said, "I owe a huge debt . . . to the girls who scream for us at every game. We play for you," she was not merely referring to their status as fans but as athletes.

Hamm and Corey divorced in 2001; on November 22, 2003, Hamm married then-Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, since traded to the Chicago Cubs. Hamm and teammates Foudy and Joy Fawcett played on another gold-medal winning Olympic team in Athens, Greece, in the summer of 2004 and followed with a ten-game “Fan Celebration Tour” that ended with their retirement, In her final game for the Americans, Hamm assisted on the first two goals in a 5-0 exhibition victory over Mexico in Carson, California.

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