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Exclusive: Elizabeth Beisel on International Learn to Swim Day, Swimways & more

86   //    16 May 2019, 02:50 IST

Elizabeth Beisel / Photo courtesy of KEF Media
Elizabeth Beisel / Photo courtesy of KEF Media

Elizabeth Beisel is one of the most well-respected Olympic athletes of the past decade and is widely regarded as the consummate “team leader” among all Olympians.

As a three-time Team USA Olympian (2008, 2012, 2016), two-time Olympic medalist (silver in the 400-meter Individual Medley and bronze in the 200-meter Backstroke) and the team captain of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, Beisel has had one of the most accomplished and remarkable athletic careers in history. 

As impressive as Beisel's athletic accomplishments are, it is her reputation as a team leader, mentor and motivator that have led her to developing such a following with fans, athletic associations and sponsors alike. 

Beisel is an ambassador for the Olympics, Women In Sports and often speaks to corporations about how to be a team leader. Beisel also serves as a USA Swimming Foundation Ambassador and International Learn to Swim Day spokesperson, communicating the importance of learning to swim, a cause she feels passionately about.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Elizabeth Beisel by phone about her Olympic career, International Learn to Swim Day, her current work with Swimways and more. The full interview is embedded below for your viewing pleasure, while some highlights are also transcribed below.

On when she first became aware of Swimways:

Elizabeth Beisel: Swimways has been a part of International Learn To Swim Day for eight years. They have partnered with the USA Swimming Foundation and I'm an ambassador for the USA Swimming Foundation, so their two missions go hand in hand.

Their swim tools help children learn how to swim and the foundation's goal is to help save lives and build champions, by teaching children how to swim. So the two companies really complement each other well. I've been able to work with Swimways for the past three years and it's been a really, really seamless process.

On her proudest career accomplishment:

Elizabeth Beisel: I think one of my proudest accomplishments was making my first Olympic team at 15. I was super-young, I didn't even have a driver's license at the time, I was basically a sophomore in high school and a baby. But for me to make that team for that first team was a dream come true.