This post first appeared on Examiner.com 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.”
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.”