|WOMEN IN SPORTS||
December 17, 2001
Mia Hamm is the first FIFA World Women's Player of the Year
Mia Hamm was named the FIFA World Women's Player of the Year today at the FIFA World Player Gala 2001 in Zurich, Switzerland. Hamm received 154 points in voting by 72 women's national team coaches, U.S. teammate Tiffeny Milbrett (47 points) and China's Sun Wen (79 points). Hamm, the five-time U.S. Soccer Chevrolet Female Player of the Year, has 129 career goals for the USA, by far the most ever for a woman or man in international competition.
Mia Hamm's post award comments
It's a great honor. More importantly, I think it's wonderful that FIFA has instituted this award. To see the progress that women's soccer has made with FIFA has been tremendous. The first step was the first world championship in 1991. That was a historic stride for us, to get our own world championship. In 1999, for the tournament to be universally known as the Women's World Cup after being called a world championship in the two previous tournaments, was a big step. It helped legitimize our sport to the world.
Sun Wen is one of the greatest players that has ever played the game in terms of her creativity and ability to score any kind of goal. She seemed to always score when China needed one and even in the WUSA playoffs she came through. What Millie has done the last three or four years is unbelievable. She was unbelievable before that, but you saw new confidence and maturity. When you play along side her and see the goals she scores and the things she does, you're just in awe. She's just been awesome. I'm glad she's on my team.
Honoring a women's footballer of the year says so much for how far this game has come and the respect that it is now being given. For me, it's always been about progressing the game. Soccer has given all of us so much, to see it continue to grow, means a lot to me.
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