By Eric Loeb
After winning a silver medal in Beijing, Peter Hudnut ’99 returned to the U.S. Olympic water polo team for one last run with his sights set on a gold medal. However, his hopes were dashed as the U.S. team only won its first three matches, followed by five straight losses.
In their first match of the preliminary rounds, the team beat Montenegro 8-7, and followed up their performance up with a 10-8 win against Romania.
After a 13-7 victory over Great Britain, the team dropped two games to Serbia and Hungary. In the loss to Hungary, Hudnut scored a goal, his only one of the Olympics.
The team was seeded eighth, and lost to Croatia 8-2. They got bumped to the loser’s bracket, and lost two more games to Spain and Australia, tallying five consecutive losses.The team finished in eighth place overall.
For Hudnut, who played limited minutes, it was a great accomplishment just making the team.
During the games, he suffered a torn ulnar tendon in his left elbow, and will have Tommy John surgery, his father and President of Harvard-Westlake Thomas Hudnut said. Despite his injury, Tom Hudnut said his son doesn’t regret his decision to play in the Olympics.
“I think he always would have regretted it if he hadn’t given it another try,” Hudnut said.
Peter Hudnut was a three-time All-American, three-time All-CIF, four-time All-League, and two-time league MVP in high school.
He is now retired from Olympic level water polo, but hopes to continue occasionally playing for the New York Athletic Club.
After the team won a silver medal in 2008, Hudnut’s first Olympics, he retired and applied for business school. However, two years into his MBA, he realized that he wanted another chance to win a gold medal. However, he had not worked out the past two years and needed to get back into shape, as he had gained 35 pounds since his last game. His listed weight and height are 230 pounds and 6-foot-5 respectively.
He went back to working out, and soon his coaches began to realize that he deserved a spot on the team. Hudnut returned to water polo the day after he received his MBA at Stanford.
In the 2011 FINA World League Super Final in Florence, Italy, Hudnut scored four goals to help his team secure a fourth place finish. Hudnut will pursue a career at Goldman Sachs in New York, according to USAwaterpolo.org.