New Haas Undergrad Nabs Bronze Swimming Medal

Guy Barnea, BS 12, hopes to apply the lessons he's learned in the pool to his studies in the classroom as a first-year undergraduate at Haas.

Barnea, an Olympic swimmer from Israel, just won a bronze medal in the 50-meter backstroke in the European Championships in Hungary last month.

“Swimming has given me a lot of tools to be competitive and at the same time team-oriented,” says Barnea, 23. “If I have a goal, I’m pretty confident I am going to reach it.”

Barnea's next competition will be in the World Short Course Championships in Dubai in December, and he has set his sights on swimming for Israel in the 2012 Olympics in London. He reached the semi-finals in the 100-meter backstroke in the Beijing Olympics two years ago and in the 50-meter backstroke in the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne.

But before he jumps into the pool for Israel again, Barnea is spending up to 24 hours per week training as a member of Cal’s swim team. Balancing training with studies and having a social life is not easy, he says. But he wants to help Cal improve on its second-place finish in last year’s NCAA Championships.

“I feel like everything moves around my training,” Barnea says. “I have to juggle everything around it.”

As for his studies at Haas, Barnea said he is undecided about what area of business he will focus on. After he graduates, he plans on doing his mandatory military service in the Israel Defense Forces before beginning his career.