Title IX was enacted into law in 1972, a moment that has had a huge impact on Olympic sports in the United States.
As opportunities for women’s sports have skyrocketed in the years since, American women have also thrived at the Olympic level.
As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of Title IX this week, here are nine top American women who have worn No. 9 for Team USA.
Megan Bozek (Ice Hockey)
Bozek, a right-shot defenseman, has made a huge impact for Team USA in recent years. She won an Olympic silver medal in 2014 and has also helped the United States win world titles in 2013, 2016 and 2017. In Sochi, Bozek was named to the tournament all-star team after posting a goal and four assists in five games.
Aria Fischer (Water Polo)
Fischer made her first Olympic team in 2016 at the age of 17, becoming the youngest U.S. woman to win an Olympic gold medal in a team sport. She helped Team USA win gold at the 2016 FINA World League Super Final and the 2016 FINA Intercontinental Tournament after a stellar junior career that included MVP honors at the 2015 FINA Junior World Championships. She will begin her college career at Stanford University, joining her older sister and teammate Makenzie, in the fall.
Mia Hamm (Soccer)
The two-time Olympic gold medalist is perhaps the most famous U.S. woman to wear the No. 9. Hamm became an icon whose star power transcended the sport as she racked up scoring titles, awards, medals and trophies over the course of her career. Hamm played for the national team from 1987 to 2004, was a founding member of the country’s first professional women’s soccer league and was a key member of the winning 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup team that captured America’s attention.
Lisa Leslie (Basketball)
She was the No. 7 pick in the very first WNBA draft who went on to be an eight-time All-Star, three-time MVP and two-time champion as well as a four-time Olympic gold medalist. Leslie was inducted to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and became just the second female basketball player to win four Olympic gold medals. During her third appearance in the Games in 2004 she became the United States’ all-time leading Olympic scorer, rebounder and shot blocker.
Cheryl Miller (Basketball)
Miller is one of the greatest players in women’s basketball history, credited with elevating the women’s game both on the court and in the public conscience. In college she led USC to two NCAA championships and was named most outstanding player of the NCAA tournament each time. She joined Team USA at the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984, leading the U.S. women to their first-ever basketball gold medal. She also led Team USA to titles at the women’s World Basketball Championship and at the Goodwill Games, and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.
Heather O'Reilly (Soccer)
O’Reilly is a three-time Olympic gold medalist with the U.S. soccer team. She was first named to the national team in 2002 while she was still in high school and, in addition to her medals won in Athens, Beijing and London, O’Reilly played in three Women’s World Cups, helping the Americans win in her final appearance in 2015. She retired from the national team in September 2016.
Julie Staver (Field Hockey)
Staver was named captain of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team that missed out on the Games due to the U.S. boycott, but she got redemption four years later in 1984 as co-captain. With a round-robin style tournament, there was no gold-medal game. But when all the games were played, Team USA and Australia were tied for third. So the Americans, who were sitting in the stands, were called down to the field for a shootout. Staver had the last shot and, although Team USA had already secured the win, Staver’s goal officially sealed the bronze medal. It remains Team USA’s only Olympic medal in women’s field hockey.
Breanna Stewart (Basketball)
Stewart had not yet played a professional basketball game when she was named to the 2016 Olympic roster, but in her rookie season in the WNBA and in her Olympic debut Stewart proved to be one of the most talented players on the court. She averaged 8.1 points per game in Rio as the team went 8-0 en route to the gold medal and was also named the WNBA rookie of the year in 2016.
Michelle Vittese (Field Hockey)
The forward has been to two Olympics with the U.S. women’s field hockey team, finishing fifth in Rio in 2016 and 12th in London in 2012. She’s also won multiple medals at the Pan American Games and Champions Challenge. In order to devote her full attention to making the national team ahead of London, Vittese put her academic career at the University of Virginia on hold and in 2011. The move paid off as she was named the national team player of the year.