It's about time I got a girl up on here! And who better to start with?
Mia joined the USWNT when she was 15, the youngest player ever to do so. (I mean, when I was 15 I was worrying about my math homework, but whatever.) She attended college at UNC for five years (sitting out her first season, in 1991, in order to focus on playing in the World Cup. Isn't that what every redshirt freshman does? Obvs.). In that time, UNC won four NCAA championships, winning 95 games and losing one. I repeat: they lost ONE. SINGLE. GAME. IN FIVE YEARS. She graduated as the ACC record-holder in goals scored (103), assists (72) and total points (278).
On the national team, Mia became the youngest player ever to win a World Cup when she was 19 in 1991. She helped the Olympic team to the gold medal in 1996 and 2004, and silver in 2000, and she was voted to carry the American flag in the closing ceremony in 2004. She was also a part of the legendary 1999 World Cup team, winning the title in front of 96,000 fans, making it the most-attended women's sports event ever.
Mia has appeared in 275 international matches (third-most in USWNT history), has 144 assists (most in USWNT history), and scored 158 international goals (second-most in the history of soccer, male or female). She's one of two women on FIFA's list of the 125 best living soccer players. And the list goes on, and on, and on...
ESPN.com sums it up perfectly: "Not only was Mia Hamm the most important female soccer player to ever lace up cleats, she also can be thrown in the same sentence with powerful women such as Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Billie Jean King, as the most important female athletes in history."
Mia Hamm: making women's sports a big freakin' deal since 1991.