Mia Hamm comes back to Selma

Published 11:31 pm Thursday, February 4, 2016

Over the last few years, it’s been nothing out of the ordinary for a celebrity to make a stop in Selma. The 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday brought President Barack Obama and former president George W. Bush, but many sports celebrities have come through too.

The list in the last few years includes Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh, Tiger Woods’ niece Cheyenne Woods and Little League World Series star Mo’ne Davis, but on Thursday night one of Selma’s own came back to speak.

Mia Hamm, arguably the best women’s soccer player of all time, was the guest speaker at a banquet for a new soccer academy starting in Selma. Hamm lived in Selma for less than a year of her life, but it’s still inspiring that her incredible journey began right here.

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There were many students in the audience from area elementary schools around the Selma area Thursday night to hear Hamm speak and hopefully they listened closely.

Hamm said when she was young she was a very shy kid — a trait she still has to overcome at times — but she worked hard to earn an athletic scholarship to North Carolina. She played for the United States’ women’s national team at 15 and she went on to Hamm win two Olympic gold medals and two FIFA World Cup championships.

All of those accomplishments didn’t come without hard work in the classroom and on the soccer field.

If our children work hard, anything is possible for them too. Although they may not be the next world-renowned soccer star, hopefully Hamm’s story inspired them to reach for the stars.

After speaking, Hamm took every photo requested of her and also signed numerous autographs. She didn’t live here long, but we’re proud to claim her as a Selmian and someone who represents this city in an extremely positive light worldwide.