Mia Hamm is the most famous female soccer player in the entire world. She worked hard and had a very interesting life. She trained and absolutely never gave up.
Mia was born on March 17, 1972, in Selma, Alabama. It was there that her mother Stephanie signed her up for ballet class, but Mia quit after just the first class. Mia then moved from Selma, Alabama to California. After California, Mia moved to Italy where she first discovered her love of soccer. Then back in the U.S.A., Mia moved to Virginia. She moved to all of these places before she reached her fourth birthday.
Then Mia moved to Wichita, Texas. This was where Mia joined her first soccer team. She could dribble at full speed and swerve around defenders without breaking a stride. Most of Mia's confidence came from her older brother, Garret, who the Hamm family adopted when Mia was only five. Mia and Garret became inseparable, especially in sports. Mia became Garret's "secret weapon" because no one picked the shy little girl. Grades 3-5 were spent in San Antonia. Mia usually played in the boys leagues.
The Hamm family moved back to Wichita Falls, Texas when she was 12. She could shoot with either foot accurately and powerfully. By age 14, Mia was receiving invitations to all-star tournaments. Coach Cossaboon discovered Mia's talent at 14 and asked her to join his Olympic development team. Coach Dorrance was also told to see Mia play, where she took his breathe away. He then asked her, at age 15, to try out for the National Team, next spring. On the first day of the National Training Camp, they spent the whole day indoors. Mia was not sure how a soccer player could stay indoors for an entire day. They lifted weights, did calisthenics, stretched and did agility drills.
Four games into the 1987 schedule, Team USA needed players for an August trip to China. Mia was so excited when she got the call and was asked to join the squad. After Mia returned from a tournament of the Pacific Rim Countries, she finished her sophomore year in Texas, then moved to Burke, Virginia. After Mia doubled her courses and finished her junior year in the fall and senior year in the spring, she was asked to play for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. She was given a full scholarship to UNC and she accepted. That year the National Team played in the World Cup and they took the world by surprise, as they took first place in style! Mia became the youngest Team U.S.A. member ever to hold the World Cup trophy in the picture.
After the World Cup, Mia's #9 jerseys were flying off the shelves. Mia then began playing in the WUSA or Women's United Soccer Association as the Washington Freedoms star player. Recently, after marrying baseball player Nomar Garciapara and winning a gold medal at the summer Olympics, Mia retired, but not before scoring an amazing 81 goals.
Mia is now 33. Though she was only 15 when making the national team she contributed everything she could. To children everywhere, Mia shows that no matter how young you are you can be just as good at something then someone older then you. She can inspire you to go for the gold and never give up. Like the saying goes...fall down seven times-- stand up eight. She is a great inspiration and that is why her name will stay in every little soccer playing girls heart, because to them she is the meaning of the sport.
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