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Veteran Olympian Elizabeth Beisel grabs 3-time U.S. Olympic Swim Team Spot

This post first appeared on on June 27, 2016.

Rhode Island’s own, Elizabeth Beisel clinched her ride to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games on Sunday night when she swam a 4:36.81 in the 400 meter Individual Medley, garnering second place to Stanford’s Maya DiRado. Beisel’s showing in the medley ensured the 23-year-old swimmer from North Kingstown a return spot as a veteran of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team.

“A very emotional day,” said Beisel in a post-race interview with Swimming World. “A lot of nerves. Now I can relax and breathe. It’s out of the way. Day one is over.”

 Beisel told a gaggle of press after the race that this Olympic Trials had her the most nervous. Although it wasn’t the race outcome she wanted, her second place finish to DiRado’s 4:33.73 was what she needed to lock in her spot on the team as they ready for the trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August. Beisel previously competed in the 2008 Beijing Games, and again in the 2012 London Olympic Games, where she brought home a silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley and a bronze medal in the 200-meter backstroke.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images Native Rhode Islander, Elizabeth Beisel speaks to Swimming World, press after clinching a spot on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team with a second place, 4:36.81 in the women's 400 meter individual medley race at swim trials in Omaha, Nebraska.

Veteran Olympian Elizabeth Beisel competes in a preliminary heat for the Women’s 400-Meter Individual Medley during Day One of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials at Centurylink Center on June 26, 2016, in Omaha, Nebraska. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Recovering from an injury sustained in 2015, a fierce competitor, Beisel battled her way back to top form, having to overcome both physical and mental challenges to garner an Olympic berth. At a presser on Friday, Beisel said that her 400-meter time in Atlanta was a key turning point after the Kazan World’s spurred a mental “reset.” Beisel tweeted out to her supporters after Sunday night’s race.

“No words can describe how grateful I am for the people who have believed in me this year. Honored to call myself a 3X Olympian for the USA🇺🇸.” ~ Elizabeth Beisel, U.S.A. Olympic Swim Team member

A University of Florida Gators and Bluefish Swim Club swimmer, Beisel held the title of fastest U.S. women’s 400m IM’er from 2009 -2013. According to USA Swimming, along with her two Olympic medals and showings, the veteran swimmer is also a five-time Team USA World Championship member. Beisel is scheduled to compete for a spot in the 200-meter backstroke on Tuesday. Olympic Trials psych sheets, released on Friday have the New England favorite entered in nine events at the trials.

As reported by SwimSwam, “among the 2,700 meters Beisel will be swimming in prelims, should she unlikely take on the monster schedule, are both IM events, both backstroke events, as well as the 200/400/800m freestyle races. She’s also listed to swim the 200 butterfly and 200 breaststroke events.”


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