Meet Mia Hamm

Yak Chat

Just for kids

July 19, 1999|By Nicholas J. Cotsonika

The Yak watched a lot of the Women's World Cup soccer championship, which the United States won a week ago Sunday. We really liked Mia Hamm.

Mia Hamm is the star of the U.S. women's soccer team -- and the star of the whole Women's World Cup. She has scored more than 100 goals in her career, more than any other woman soccer player in history.

When Mia was young, her family moved a lot because her father was in the military. She lived in Virginia, Texas and even Italy, where soccer is the most popular sport. Playing on soccer teams helped her in hard times.

"I'd join a team and make friends that way," said Mia, who is now 27 years old. "Sports gave me confidence."

Mia was a star player for the United States as early as high school, and she played soccer at the University of North Carolina. Playing for the United States, she won a gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

As talented as Mia is, she still makes mistakes."I trip a lot," Mia said. "Really, I'm not kidding. There's been several times when I've gone to kick the ball and tripped myself." But that's all right, because she's having fun.

"The advice I always give kids is to make sure you're playing soccer because you love it, not because your parents do," Mia said. "The only thing that matters is that you enjoy playing. "

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