Abby Wambach, two-time Olympic gold medalist and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, helped the U.S. Women’s National Team win Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2012, and was named Women’s Player of the Year by FIFA in 2012.
Wambach made her first appearance for the USWNT in 2001. The following year, she became Mia Hamm’s teammate when the Washington Freedom selected her as the second overall pick in the draft. In 2003 she was named U.S. Soccer’s Female Athlete of the Year, a feat she achieved five additional times.
Wambach scored four goals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. At the 2007 Women’s World Cup, she scored six goals to help the U.S. secure a third-place finish. She became the all-time leading U.S. scorer in Women’s World Cup action in 2011, and at the 2012 London Olympics, Wambach helped the USWNT win its second Olympic gold.
In her 2015 entry into Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list, Mia Hamm wrote: “Whether inspiring her team on the field or taking on important issues off of it, Abby uses her passion and fearlessness to lead by example.” Later that year, Wambach led the national team to a 5-2 victory over the Japanese team, securing her legacy within American sports history.