Mia Hamm, formally known as Mariel Margaret Hamm, is a retired U.S. women's national soccer player. Mia Hamm's soccer career started at age 15, making her the youngest women soccer player to ever make the national team. She then went to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and led the team to four consecutive NCAA championships. After she graduated she moved on to play full time professional soccer for the U.S. national team.
Mia Hamm retired in 2004, and since then has remained active in the football community. Married to major league baseball player Nomar Garciaparra, she co-owns the Los Angeles Football Club of Major League Soccer. She is considered one of the all time greatest female soccer players and has published books telling her life and soccer career.
Mia Hamm's soccer career began at 15, when she was the youngest soccer player to ever be on the national soccer team. Hamm then continued her education and soccer career at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Through her undergraduate four years, Hamm led the team to win four National Collegiate Athletic Association championships. After graduating from UNC, Hamm went directly to the U.S. women's national soccer team, where she played in 276 games. Hamm led the team to win four major championships, two World Cup championships, and Olympic gold medals.At 19 years old, Hamm was the youngest soccer player in history to win the World Cup. Mia Hamm retired in 2004 after the Summer Olympics and remains involved in soccer through co-owning the Los Angeles Football Club of Major League Soccer.
Mia Hamm broke and set many records for young women soccer players in the world. Hamm was the youngest player to join the women's national soccer team and the youngest in history to win a World Cup. In 2001 and 2002, Mia Hamm was named FIFA's "World Player of the Year." She led her college soccer team to four consecutive national championships. Hamm then went on to the national soccer team where she led the team to two World Cups and Olympic Gold medals. Hamm was the record holder for most international goals scored until 2013. From 1994-1998 Mia Hamm was named Soccer USA's "Female Athlete of the Year," and in 2004 she was put on the list of the "125 Greatest Living Soccer Players." That award made Mia Hamm and her teammate the only women and Americans on the list at the time.
Mia Hamm, full name Mariel Margaret Hamm, was born in Selma, Alabama on March 17, 1972. Hamm's father being an Air Force pilot made the family move often, but they always encouraged Hamm to continue her sports talents. In 1994, Hamm married her college boyfriend, Christian Cory. After a split in 2001, Hamm married Nomar Garciaparra who she is still married to now. In 2004, Hamm retired from professional soccer to focus on her family. She founded the Mia Hamm Foundation for bone marrow research after her brother Garrett died from a rare blood disease. Founded in 1999, the Mia Hamm Foundation raises funds for families in need of bone marrow or blood transplants and as a developmental foundation for women in sports. Mia Hamm is also a mother to twin girls, Grace, and Ava, who were born in 2007.
Mia Hamm officially retired from professional soccer to start a family in 2004 after the summer Olympics. She was 32 years old when she retired from professional play. By starting so young, Mia Hamm was able to retire earlier than many other soccer players. Mia Hamm played on the national women's soccer team from 1987-2004, a 17-year career. Hamm retired to start a family, focus on her personal life, and continue in the soccer world from a different angle.
Mia Hamm is considered to be one of the best female soccer players of all time, in the world. During her time, she was awarded every title possible recognizing her as the best female player. After playing in 275 matches, Mia Hamm retired, and since then have come many other great female soccer players. Mia Hamm can be considered one of the original female players to make a mark in women's soccer.
Mia Hamm retired in 2004 to start her family with her husband, Nomar Garciaparra. In 2007, Mia Hamm became the mother of two twin girls, Grace, and Ava. In 2012, Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra had a son, named Garrett. This son was named after Mia Hamm's brother who passed away after complications with his rare blood disease. Mia Hamm is now still married to Nomar Garciaparra and is raising her three kids with him.
Since retiring, Mia Hamm stayed in the soccer world by co-owning with her husband and others, the Los Angeles Football Club of Major League Soccer. She has also released books about her journey and career. Mia Hamm also focuses on her foundation, the Mia Hamm Foundation, which raises awareness and money for people who need bone marrow transplants. In addition, it focuses on introducing women to sports at a young age.