Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts August 2001
Short Cuts:A Hamm on stage
Few speakers can boast a background as dramatic
as soccer star Mia Hamm’s. Five years ago, women’s soccer generally
didn’t make headlines. But when Hamm (pictured below) led the
United States to a team gold medal in the 1996 Olympic Games to the
delight of 80,000 screaming fans women’s sports entered a new age
of recognition. Three years later, 40 million viewers watched the
United States take home the coveted Women’s World Cup.
While Hamm can’t take all of the credit, she certainly can claim
a fair share. The youngest player to join the U.S. women’s soccer
team (at age 15), Hamm has been collecting MVP awards and setting
records ever since.
But in 1996, while Hamm was winning on the field, her brother,
Garrett, lost his life to bone marrow disease. The loss, combined
with her own success, reinforced Hamm’s desire to give something
back. In 1999 she formed the nonprofit Mia Hamm Foundation with a
dual mission to fight related diseases as well as promote
opportunities for young women in sports.
These triumphs and tribulations have fueled Hamm’s effectiveness
on the podium. She has inspired sales teams for Office Depot, Sam’s
Club, BMW, MasterCard and others. “People want to hear about her
experiences as a pioneer in women’s sports and how those
experiences translate into the corporate world,” says David Bober,
Hamm’s New York City-based agent.
On the podium, Hamm draws parallels between the working world
and the playing field in terms of competition, obstacles and
perseverance. She also stresses that the importance of the team
can’t be overshadowed by individual accomplishments. For more
information, contact Bober Associates Inc. at (212) 262-4488.
• LOREN G. EDELSTEIN
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