She is one of the most talented players ever to boot a soccer ball—and surely the most popular. Hamm scored her 108th career goal, making her the world’s alltime leading scorer, an accomplishment that outshines her many others (four NCAA titles at North Carolina, an Olympic gold medal, two World Cup championships, five U.S. Female Player of the Year awards).
Growing up as an Air Force brat, Hamm made friends of new teammates by blowing them away with her acceleration, dribbling finesse and willingness to plow through anybody to score. Even today, the soft-spoken striker is most at ease on the field, out of the spotlight.
“I’m just a soccer player,” she says. “That’s pretty much all I know.”
Hamm was first married to her college sweetheart Christian Corry, a United States Marine Corps CH-53E helicopter pilot; they divorced in 2001 after being married six years. She married then-Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra on November 22, 2003, in Goleta, California in a ceremony attended by a few hundred guests. On March 27, 2007, Hamm gave birth to twin girls, Grace Isabella and Ava Caroline. Though born five weeks early, each girl weighed over 2.3 kg at birth. The couple had a son, named Garrett Anthony, in January 2012.
Hamm has been called the most marketable female athlete of her generation. During her time as an international soccer player, she signed endorsement deals with Gatorade, Nike, Dreyer’s Ice Cream, Pepsi, Nabisco, Fleet Bank, Earthgrains, Powerbar, and Mattel.
In 1999, Hamm founded the The Mia Hamm Foundation following the death of her brother Garrett in 1997 from complications of aplastic anemia. The non-profit organization is dedicated to promoting awareness of and raising funds for families in need of a bone marrow or cord blood transplant. The organization encourages people to register in the national bone marrow registry and provides funds to UNC Health Care and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. It also focuses on creating opportunities to empower women through sport. Hamm hosts an annual celebrity soccer game in Los Angeles to support the foundation.
Hamm is a global ambassador for FC Barcelona.
In 2012, after Pia Sundhage’s departure as head coach of the United States women’s national soccer team, Hamm joined Danielle Slaton and Sunil Gulati as a member of the search committee for Sundhage’s successor.
She is the author of Go For the Goal: A Champion’s Guide to Winning in Soccer and Life and appeared in the HBO documentary Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team.
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