Mia Hamm selected for the 2021 Women’s Hall of Fame

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U.S. women’s national soccer team star Mia Hamm joins the Women’s Hall of Fame.

Hamm is one of nine women selected as the Class of 2021, announced on International Women’s Day Monday. She joins a few select athletes as part of the indoor arena in Seneca Falls, New York, where the first women’s rights convention was held in 1848.

Hamm joins a select few athletes in the women’s HOF

Hamm, a teenage phenomenon and face of women’s football in the 1990s, will be the 13th athlete to enter the hall of now 302 initiates, according to the organization’s database. She is the first female team athlete to be inducted, and in particular the first USWNT player. The national team is heralded as the face of women’s struggle for equality, and more USWNT players are likely to join them in Seneca Falls in the decades to come.

Athletes in tennis, golf, figure skating and swimming were included. Billie Jean King is the most famous female athlete in the hall and continues her activism work for women and girls to play sports. Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, and Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, an all-round athlete who went from Olympic gold to LPGA star, are also in the hall, as are Althea Gibson and Wilma Rudolph.

The first woman to win a Triple Crown event as a horse jockey (Julie Krone) and the first black woman to travel to both the North and South Poles (Barbara Hillary) have been inducted within the past decade.

Eight others join Hamm in the 2021 class: Michelle Obama, Katherine Johnson, Emily Howland, Octavia Butler, Judy Chicago, Rebecca Halstead, Joy Harjo and Indra Nooyi. The first class was introduced in 1973.

The candidates are nominated by the public and assessed by an interdisciplinary team of experts from all areas of the nominee. They are selected for invaluable contributions to American society in the arts, athletics, business, education, government, humanities, philanthropy, and science.

Hamm’s honorable contributions

Mia Hamm, who signed autographs here in 2001, was a national icon in the 1990s and helped bring women’s football to what it is today. (AP Photo / Jeffrey A. Camarati)

Girls across the country wore Mia Hamm’s # 9 in the 1990s and have long been the biggest star in American women’s football. For every young woman growing up at the time, it was about being like Mia. She remains an icon whose sporting contributions have GOAT status and her work to empower women is ongoing.

Hamm made her debut for the national team at the age of 15 and was 19 years old in the first ever Women’s World Cup in 1991, which the United States won. They added a legendary World Cup title in 1999 that arguably changed the face of women’s football in the country and left a lasting legacy and influence on the players for decades.

She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (1996, 2004) with four NCAA championships in North Carolina and a long list of Player of the Year. Hamm was the face of the first professional women’s soccer league in the USA and retired in 2004.

“Hamm continues to be an inspiration to young girls looking to compete in athletics,” wrote the Women’s Hall of Fame. “She is actively present in the football community and has spoken out for Title IX and gender equality.”

With 158, Hamm is third on the international list of goals. She played 276 internationals (internationals) for the national team and finished fifth all time. As athletes reach new heights and face fewer obstacles than 20 years ago, Hamm’s status as a role model and advocate of glass breaking is growing.

She is currently co-owner of the MLS team Los Angeles FC and global ambassador for FC Barcelona. The story of Hamm and the 1999 World Cup team will be turned into a film for Netflix.

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