Olympic greats visit ULM campus for women’s month

Local News

The University of Louisiana Monroe  is doing it big for women’s history month bringing in Olympic icons as guest speakers.   

Mia Hamm and Shawn Johnson know a lot about success. Johnson, a four-time Olympic gymnast and Hamm as  a hall-of-fame soccer player. They’ve accomplished a lot in their careers but what matters to them even more is the impact they’ve made since then.

“For me it wasn’t when i stepped into a big stadium or got to do a commercial it was as soon as those young people started looking up to me that’s when i kind of became a role model,” Hamm said.

The ULM  Lyceum Series gives students, faculty and the community a chance to share some perspective with women who accomplished some  great things.

Iif we have an opportunity to inspire impact in a positive way somebody that’s sitting in the audience today that’s wonderful,” Hamm said.

Johnson ,who retired at only 25 years-old, has already focused her energy on helping the younger generation.

“I always teach kids that i coach and work with and mentor that it’s usually the ones that aren’t the God-given gifted ones  that are the successful ones,” Johnson said.

Both ladies may be making an even bigger impact, in retirement,  than they were in their heyday.

“Hearing how you inspired them I mean it’s one of those things that you hope that’s what’s happening and you’re excited that you’re having that type of impact,” Hamm said. 

From Olympic gold to giving the gift of knowledge, these women have been all over the world, but they’ve   made a special impact right here in Monroe.


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