Business Elite on Their Shining Moments as Athletes

Executives at a Bloomberg sports business summit recount their highs and lows—but mostly lows.

“I went to high school in New York City and grew up a huge Knicks fan. We played in a basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden—a dream come true. I wanted to make a splash. I was 0 for 12 with 4 or 5 air balls and then just bricks.”
Don Cornwell, partner, PJT Partners Inc. 

Illustration: Matija Medved


“About five years ago, I did the Loch Ness Marathon [in northern Scotland]. I’d done training runs where I’d run 22 miles and was like, ‘I feel great.’ But then, on the day of, I’m at 22 miles, and ugh. That was my first marathon—I did it in about 4 hours and 25 minutes. And then the last one I did was 4 hours and 5 minutes. I’ve learned never to invite my wife and kids to watch me at the end. My kids were going, ‘We must have missed him.’ Because I said I would do it in three-and-a-half hours.”
Nigel Eccles, chief executive officer, FanDuel Inc.
 
“I played high school football in Washington, Conn. As an offensive guard, you don’t get a lot of chances to touch the football. But once, when I was on the punt return team, I scooped up a blocked kick and ran it all of 2 yards without getting caught from behind. That was my only touchdown.”
Mark Lazarus, chairman, NBC Broadcasting & Sports
 
“I was a point guard at Harvard. In 1997 we were the first team to go undefeated in the Ivy League. We played against the University of North Carolina in the NCAA tournament. Marion Jones, the track and field star, was their point guard. The coaches had three people on me in practice to try to emulate what it would be like with her guarding me. It wasn’t even close.”
Jessica Gelman, CEO, Kraft Analytics Group
 
“My senior year at Dartmouth, where I played goalie in soccer, we won the Ivy League title and qualified for the NCAA tournament. We made it to the final eight and played against Rutgers. On their corner kick, instead of trying to punch the ball away, I tried to catch it. It knocked on someone’s head, fell at their feet, and they knocked it in. We lost 1-0. Four days later, when the final four was taking place in California, I was sitting in Hanover, N.H., taking a final exam.”
Gregg Lemkau, co-head of global mergers & acquisitions, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

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