Mia Hamm is famed as one of the greatest female athletes of all time. As a former Women’s National Team player and captain, she set records for the sport of soccer that had never been seen before.
Born Mariel Margaret Hamm (Mia), she was the fourth of six children, getting to that point wasn’t easy. Hamm faced struggles from an early age. She was born with a club foot, a condition in which the foot turns inward, which required corrective braces as a toddler. This could have been the end to any future career in sports but with the help of doctors, parents and her own will, she was able to overcome her first struggle.
The noise she heard growing up never got to her.
She grew up in an Air Force family and moved around many times throughout her childhood. This did not stop her from developing a passion. While in Italy, she was introduced to soccer and never looked back.
From the time she began playing she showed dedication and love for the sport. She went on to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels winning four NCAA National Championships.
She never let anyone tell her she wasn’t good enough.
From 1987 to 2004, she played for the national team. In this time she helped mold the sport into something new, big and exciting. She is the reason many young women today grew up with a love for the sport. I am one of these women.
She laid the groundwork for what the sport is today. Before her, girl’s soccer wasn’t big. The sport wasn’t popular in the U.S. and it was geared toward men. However, Hamm and her national team teammates changed that.
She joined the team at 15 years old, the youngest ever. In her career she contributed to the 1991 World Cup win, 1996 Olympic gold medal, 1999 World Cup win, and the 2004 Olympic gold medal. These achievements were previously unheard of in women’s soccer.
Mia holds the record for scoring the most goals on International level for the United States than any other player, male or female in the history of the United States.
She never let anyone tell her it was a man’s sport.
When I was young I looked up to her in every way. She was a role model. She was an idol. She was soccer for me; the epitome of who I wanted to be as a player.
She is an inspiration to young girls everywhere.
Beyond her accomplishments as a player, she dealt with personal struggles including divorce and the death of her brother. In the wake of these hardships she did not give up or listen to the noise. She used her situation to help others.
In 1999 she founded the Mia Hamm Foundation which is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for families in need of a marrow or cord blood transplant and to the development of more opportunities for young women in sports.
She never let anyone hold her back.
More information about the foundation can be found here.
Today, she is married and a mom to twins. She didn’t let the noise get to her. She showed the world that she can be a world class athlete, a mom, a wife, an author and a powerful woman.
Check out her autobiography to read more about her noise here.
Mia Hamm wasn’t afraid to break boundaries.
And what about you?
What boundaries will you break? What noise will you ignore?
What will your legacy leave behind for young girls to follow?
Please let us know in the comments below! We would love to hear your HeartStory.