Soccer: Mia Hamm is ambassador for women's 2011 World Cup
FRANKFURT — Former United States captain Mia Hamm, a two-time world player of the year, has been appointed international ambassador for the 2011 women's World Cup in Germany.
Hamm was officially presented Thursday, ahead of a friendly between United States and Germany in Augsburg.
"No other player has had a more positive impact on the women's game than Mia Hamm," said Steffi Jones, the president of the organizing committee. "As well as her incredible ability on the field, she's a wonderful team player as I experienced first hand when we played together at Washington Freedom.
"She takes her status as a role model in society very seriously. I'm proud to have such a class act on board, and I'm sure her success and profound knowledge of the game will help us to promote the positive image of the Women's World Cup around the world."
The 37-year-old Hamm won the World Cup in 1991 and 1999, as well as gold medals at the 1996 and 2004 Olympics. She was voted FIFA Women's World Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002 and, along with Michelle Akers, was selected by Pele as one of only two women in FIFA's ranking of the 125 greatest players of all time.
She scored a record 158 goals in 275 internationals before ending her career in 2004.
"It's a great honor," Hamm said. "I'm convinced that the tournament will set new benchmarks and that women's football in general will benefit from it greatly. I experienced the 2006 World Cup in Germany as a fan, and now as an ambassador I'll be doing my best to ensure we enjoy a similarly successful tournament in 2011. It's really special to be involved in such a fantastic event as this.
"I'm expecting the stadiums to be packed because staging the women's World Cup in the wonderful German arenas will be a great experience for both traditional football fans and families alike."