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A Sit Down with Theresa Moore '86: Harvard Track and Field, ESPN, and the Power of Storytelling

Theresa Moore '86, a former captain of Harvard track and field, now owns her own production company, T-Time Productions.
Theresa Moore '86, a former captain of Harvard track and field, now owns her own production company, T-Time Productions. By Courtesy of Theresa Moore '86
By Josephine S. Elting, Crimson Staff Writer

Theresa Moore is not only a decorated Ivy League track star but a storyteller committed to shedding light on those whose tales have not been told. The former Harvard track and field captain has been an influential member of many communities beyond the track squad, including ESPN and now her own production company, T-Time Productions.

As a child, Moore had a passion for all sports. She and her two siblings played in various youth leagues in Rhode Island. She continually found herself on the softball diamond, the basketball court, the volleyball court, or the ice rink. Her brother was an avid hockey player and the family every winter built their own rink in the backyard for the kids to skate.

Playing multiple sports helped Moore develop a high level of athleticism. While she was great at all the sports she played, she excelled the most in track and field. In high school, she dominated competition in her state, winning ten state championships in the long jump and the 100 and 200-meter dash. Her athletic career coincided with the passage of Title IX, which afforded her many opportunities that past female athletes did not have — opportunities of which she took advantage.

“To find out that just 15 years earlier, that you had people that weren't even able to use the track at the same time as the men at Harvard was just crazy to me,” Moore reflected. “It's really afforded me opportunities from friendships, from life skills, from travel.”

The life lessons she learned in her youth as an athlete contributed to the development of her deep passion for athletics, which continued through college. Moore’s impressive high school career earned her offers to both Stanford and Harvard. Ultimately, the East Coast native chose to stay close to home and continued her track career at Harvard.

In Cambridge, Moore was a textbook example of what it means to be a student-athlete. She was a superlative sprinter, a teammate, all while being a hard-working student. Track and field — one of the largest teams at Harvard — most often calls for individual competition. Balancing this individual and team mentality is difficult for its participants, yet Moore understood this challenge very well.

“I'm having a great day, but the team is still losing. So let's figure out how we get other people to have their personal best,” said Moore when discussing how she balanced her personal and team achievements during the competition.

Her skillset earned her the title of team captain as a senior. In addition to being a supportive teammate, she sure was a fast one, winning the 100-meter dash at the Ivy League Championships in 1985.

On the other side of the Charles River, Moore spent her time as a resident of Kirkland House. Like many students, she started out as an economics concentrator before switching to history.

“I loved history. I love the stories. I love the narrative,” Moore said.

This passion for storytelling manifested into a career in media and production. She found her way into a job with ESPN. At ESPN, she worked with various departments including sales, advertising, media, and programming. There she created the series “The Block Party” and the documentary “Images in Black and White,” the latter of which was a part of ESPN’s Black History Month program. The film has been nominated for awards including the Peabody, Sports Emmy, Billie, and the NAACP Image awards.

In 2006, Moore founded her own production company — T-Time Productions — where she could lead in telling the untold stories of sports to the public.

“I just found a way that I could take my love of history and storytelling and take sports and combine them into my work and so that's kind of what we're doing.”

Third and Long, a T-Time Productions documentary, explores the history of African Americans in the NFL. Both educational and entertaining, the film is a great characterization of Moore’s and the larger company’s work.

While she has certainly mastered the domain of sports, she has also produced and written pieces that go beyond the world of sports which includes the documentary License to Thrive: Title IX at 35.

Throughout her athletic and professional career, Moore has been dedicated to the betterment of the student experience in the Harvard community, especially for students of color.

“We have the responsibility, to make the future even better, for the generations behind me. We should always be pushing and making sure that change is underway for the better,” Moore said.

“I feel that responsibility to the students that came behind because I know, as they say, I stand on the shoulders of people who were there before me.”

Today she is a Chair of the Harvard Board of Overseers Visiting Committee for Athletics and also serves on other boards at the Harvard Varsity Club. Not only did Moore contribute to the Harvard community as one of the school's fastest sprinters in history, but through continuing to support the University by giving voices to all students and creating a more inclusive campus.

— Staff writer Josephine S. Elting can be reached at josephine.elting@thecrimson.com.

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