Heather Mitts, the first female athlete to become a Teammate, and one of only three women’s soccer players to win three Olympic Gold medals, as well as the World Cup silver medal, announced her retirement last week. Known internationally for her stellar record as Defender for the Women’s National Team, she had 137 Caps for the USWNT beginning in 1999.

Mitts married former NFL quarterback A. J. Feeley in 2010. A.J. has been a Teammate since 2008, and he told her about Teammates while they were still dating. When she heard about the work of this organization, Heather asked, “Can girls be a part of the Foundation, too?” That question led to her becoming the first female Teammate in 2009, a role she has accepted with great enthusiasm. She recruited six of her US WNT teammates to sign on with the foundation, and she has hosted dinners to spread the word about how Teammates helps kids around the world.

Heather has a special place in her heart for kids, and she hosts an annual soccer camp for girls in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. When she was presented with an award from Teammates in recognition of her support, she said, “I love being a part of this foundation. I think it’s so special. I look forward to many more years of being part of this foundation.”

When he heard of Heather’s retirement, Teammates co-founder Garth Brooks said, “Heather was our very first female teammate and fortunately, she set the bar. She is a record that may be tied but never broken. On behalf of Teammates, we would like to congratulate Heather on an amazing career AND thank her for being exactly what this foundation needs...she is the best."