Merill Moses is in his tenth year as a member of the men’s water polo national team, and brings a wealth of experience to the young U.S. squad. Rio will be Moses’s third Olympic games, and he will be one of the mainstays in goal for Team USA.
Water polo beginnings
Like most of his teammates, Moses’s career began in California. He got his start in the pool before his freshman year of high school as a way to avoid the heat of the football field. He played at Pepperdine, where he helped lead the Waves to a National Championship in 1997. That same year he was named MVP of the NCAA Championships. He graduated in 2000.
After being cut prior to the 2004 Athens Olympics, Moses worked in the mortgage industry. That day job didn’t last long though, as he was asked to join the team in 2006, and has been a mainstay since. He’s been a part of three gold medal Pan American Games teams (2007, 2011, 2015) and had 63 saves during the 2012 London Olympics. Moses was also the starting goalie in the 2008 Olympics where the U.S. won a silver medal. He was named to the Olympic All-Star team during those Beijing Games after blocking 70 shots.
“When you go to the Olympic Games and represent Team USA, you’re going there to bring home a gold medal,” Moses told the AP.
“I always have had the mentality that if I train harder than everyone and put more into it, I am going to be more prepared, and I think that’s where the confidence comes in,” Moses said to the AP. “As long as I prepare myself properly, I know that I’m going to give it my all, and I’ve been blessed with this talent and these long arms to be able to play at this level.”
Outside the pool
Moses is currently an assistant coach at his alma mater. He lives in California with his wife, Laura, and two daughters.
Moses will turn 39 while in Rio, making him more than 20 years older than his Team USA teammate Thomas Dunstan. After winning a silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Moses brought the medal with him on vacation where it was stolen. He was given a replica medal, but has said he now has even more motivation to win another medal – this time gold.