Mia Hamm has been a trailblazer for women in soccer. At fifteen years old, she became the youngest player on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. With 275 appearances throughout her seventeen years playing forward, the team won the Women’s World Cup in 1991 and 1996, making Hamm the youngest player in history on a tournament-winning team. In 1999, Hamm set a world record for both men and women for career goals in an international competition. She holds two Olympic gold medals and was named FIFA’s World Player of the Year for 2001 and 2002.
Hamm retired from soccer in 2004; however, she continues to promote opportunities for women in the sport through the Mia Hamm Foundation, most recently helping to create the first professional U.S. women’s soccer teams. She established her foundation after her brother Garrett died of a blood disease in 1997.