Emma Twigg: an Olympic Gold which is a bit SDA Bocconi’s.

TOKYO 2020


In rowing competitions, our FIFA Master 2015 alumna from New Zealand was first in women’s single sculls, and broke the new Olympic record. A success that builds on high-end physical, mental and cultural preparation.


Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have claimed great successes and emotions for Italians. Of all, L. Marcell Jacobs winning gold in the 100 meters and becoming the fastest man on the planet. But we can say SDA Bocconi also has a medal, for these Olympics saw the fantastic success of our FIFA Master 2015 alumna Emma Twigg from New Zealand.


This world-class 34-years-old rower is the terrific single-scull golden medalist and also broke the new Olympic record. A success that is even more exciting and is a personal reward, after two fourth places in a row – London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics – had almost pushed her to retire from competition. But mental her strength, willpower, self-confidence and potential have led her to the top result for a professional sportsperson.


After graduating from the University of Waikato in New Zealand, this athlete participated in the 15th edition of our FIFA Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport. The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) developed the FIFA Master in partnership with the De Montfort University in Leicester (England), SDA Bocconi School of Management (Italy) and the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) to promote managerial education in the world of sports.


The 22nd edition of the FIFA Master will start soon in September. Specialized rankings consider it the best post-graduate program in sports in Europe. SDA Bocconi’s contribution focuses on the management of sport, and specifically on how sports organizations function and create value. These modules are taught by world-class Faculty and enriched by meetings with international speakers and field visits.


In recent years, athletes, both during and after their sports career, are especially prizing education in view of their professional future off the field. Managerial education programs such as our FIFA Master are an excellent ground to plan personal development projects, making guided decisions, whether you are sticking with sports or moving onto a different professional field.


Emma Twigg willfully decided she would attend the FIFA Master. While studying in Milano, she has trained in Cernobbio (Como) to keep her performance up to an internationally competitive level. She had opted for a different, richer project, outside the plans of her Federation. In time, the outcomes have proved her right. Her medal in Tokyo is the result of high-end physical, mental and cultural preparation, that clearly witness for her future.


«We should think of the careers of sportspeople as a single journey through different phases: when an athlete’s career is solid, like Emma’s, it is advisable to plan one’s cultural growth, building on a major understanding of the person’s potential and limits», said the FIFA Master’s Scientific Director Dino Ruta, who is also a keen expert in the careers of athletes. «Emma is a perfect example of this, and it was a great pleasure to have her at SDA Bocconi and share thoughts and ideas on the world of sport while being part of her development process».


This process was also supported by CIES and FIFA Master Director professor Denis Oswald, a rowing Olympic athlete in turn (in 1968, ’72 and ’76), today a member of the IOC. «Top athletes work with a team of experts in different topics, including culture and education. That’s to say mentors who can guide the value of the athlete-person to 360-degree development. Developing athletes in the medium to long run, beyond mere performance, is the present challenge for the sports system», Dino Ruta added.


The FIFA Master and SDA Bocconi School of Management are proud of Emma Twigg‘s victory, and look forward to sharing it with her and other sports champions.


SDA Bocconi School of Management

Related News

27 February 2024
Changing ownership structure benefits the ...
Changing ownership structure benefits the performance
The Corporate Governance Lab mapped 14,000 companies, tracking ...
Learn More
15 February 2024
AI in the spotlight: SDA Bocconi takes the ...
AI in the spotlight: SDA Bocconi takes the stage at the Artificial Intelligence Festival
A day on the technology of the future, led by our Faculty
Learn More
12 February 2024
This is how the talent of social ...
This is how the talent of social entrepreneurs grows
Impact Evaluation
Learn More