Whatever Happened To USA Soccer Star Mia Hamm?

One of the high water marks in women's sports in the U.S. came all the way back in 1999, when the United States Women's National Soccer Team won its second FIFA World Cup. As CNN reports, in a thrilling shootout against China in front of a record-setting crowd of 90,000, the USA took home the trophy. It was a moment that changed women's soccer in the United States forever.

Although it was her teammate, Brandi Chastian, who got the most press coverage from the event (for famously taking a page from the book of male soccer players and tearing off her shirt), other women from that team also went on to make names for themselves, both in women's soccer and in women's sports more generally. One was Mia Hamm, who was described by Forbes as being one of the most marketable female athletes of her generation. Indeed, following her team's historic win, and for the remainder of her career, Hamm raked in sponsorships and endorsement opportunities, but ultimately retired from her sport in 2004, at the age of 32. That was nearly 20 years ago, but Hamm has remained somewhat active in women's sports since then.

Mia Hamm is a writer, businesswoman, and mother

Since her retirement from soccer in 2004, Mia Hamm has still been involved in the soccer world, as well as taking time to be a mother to her three children, according to Forbes. She's also been an outspoken advocate for equal pay for men and women in soccer, as CNBC reports. "The fact that people didn't see women as valuable is a mistake, and also a detriment to society," she said of the pay gap between male and female athletes, particularly in international soccer, in 2019.

Hamm is also involved financially in the success of women's (and men's) soccer in the U.S. As KSAT reports, in 2014 Hamm became a co-owner of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles FC. In 2020, she purchased an interest in Angel City FC of the National Women's Soccer League, joining Serena Williams, Billie Jean King, and fellow women's soccer star Abby Wambach as co-owners of the club.