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Mia Hamm

Mia Hamm (born March 17, 1972) is a participant of the sport of women's soccer. A native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Hamm has been able to garner the respect of soccer experts and build a large fan base in the United States, where she plays in the women's national soccer team.

The youngest player ever to play for the national team at age 15, Mia later attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was nicknamed Jordan by her peers, in reference to another UNC athlete, Michael Jordan. She helped take the UNC's team to four consecutive NCAA women's championships. She was an All American and ACC player of the year for the last three years of her college tenure.

In 1991, when the US women's national team won the FIFA Women's World Cup for the first time with her and teammate Brandi Chastain, Hamm became the youngest American woman to win a world cup championship at the age of 19. In 1993, she graduated from college with the all time records for her conference in goals with 103, assists wth 72, and total points with 278.

She has garnered numerous awards and recognitions during her career as a soccer player. Among those, she was elected as the Soccer USA's female athlete of the year five years in a row (1994-1998), she was elected MVP of the women's cup in 1995, she was elected one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People Magazine in 1997, she was elected number 14 among soccer's most influential people by Soccer Business International magazine, and won three ESPY awards in a row, given to her by ESPN, one of them for soccer player of the year and the other two for Female Athlete of the Year.

In 1996, Hamm and the rest of the US women's national team played for the gold medal in the Atlanta Olympic Games in front of 80,000 spectators, an all time record for any women's sporting events. That day, Hamm and her teammates were able to conquer the gold medal.

In 1999, Nike named the largest building on their corporate campus after this star, and that same year she, Chastain, Kate Sobrero, Lorrie Fair, Tiffeny Milbrett and the rest of the girls on the national team became world champions again, by winning the FIFA Women's World Cup. Chastain's take-the-jersey-off celebration after the win became an instant legendary sports moment.

Also in '99, Hamm began the Mia Foundation, dedicated to help with bone narrow research and to help women sports programs progress.

As of 2002, Hamm, who loves to meet and greet fans and sign autographs for them, is still a member of the USA women's national soccer team.

In 2002, she became engaged to marry Nomar Garciaparra, a baseball player. That year aso, she was named by the FIFA as the Female Player of The Year alongside Ronaldo, who won Male Player of The Year honors.

At the end of the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, she had scored 144 goals in international matches, an all-time record for any player, male or female. She also had appeared in 245 international matches; only her teammate Kristine Lilly has played in more internationals.

On November 22, 2003, Hamm and Garciaparra were married at Fontana, California in a private ceremony. A few hundred guests attended.