Among UCLA Anderson’s student body and alumni network are several U.S. Olympians, many of them medalists. As Rio 2016 kicks off, we’re profiling five standouts who talk about their athletic team training and how an Anderson education influenced their esprit de corps.
By David Davis
Ed Moses (FEMBA ’16), Swimming
2000 Sydney Olympics
In 2000, Ed Moses won the Olympic silver medal in the 100-meter breaststroke and the gold medal in the 4x100-meter medley relay at the Sydney Games. Looking back, he said, the personal sacrifice required to achieve his childhood dream was all-consuming. “People look at Olympic champions and say, ‘How did you do that?’” he said. “It really took a ton of commitment. If I wasn’t in the pool swimming, I was eating, sleeping, watching tape, studying technique or working out outside the pool.”
Competing as an elite swimmer is “very selfish and very focused,” he said. “You are 100 percent responsible for your performance.” At Anderson, he said, he learned that “the real world is the exact opposite. You have to work with people, you have to understand what motivates others, you have to communicate really well, and you have to have a lot of empathy. It was a personal transformation for me.”
On the medley relay, which includes one leg each of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle, breaststroker Moses learned to compete as part of a team. “Without the combination of those pieces, we never would’ve broken the world record,” he said. “It was just like coming to Anderson: I didn’t know who all the students were, just that they all had their own specialty. But when you put all of those pieces together and you take the time to learn what makes others happy and how they fit, that’s what builds that tight business bond.”
In swimming, Moses said, “you can get caught up in your own bubble and listen to only what’s important to you. In business and sports, you’re only as good as your teammates. When you go to start a company, potential investors want to know about your team. Sometimes they don’t even care about your concept except who’s doing it and how are they all working together. It’s all about the team.”
Hollywood-based Moses is the founder of a sports statistics startup called StatFuel, which he plans to launch later this year.