Elizabeth Beisel brought a powerful combination of talent, passion, and perseverance to a swimming career that saw the Rhode Island native make the first of her three U.S. Olympic teams at age 15, culminating in silver and bronze medals at the 2012 London Games.
Beisel brings those qualities to her life long interest in the environment and climate change.
“My interest in the environment and climate change started when I was a young girl,” recalled Beisel. “A local organization called ‘Save the Bay’ hosts a race every year to raise funds to clean, protect, and preserve the waters that touch the coast of Rhode Island. During the first races they hosted in the 1970’s, people would come out of the water sick and covered in oil and pollution. When I was younger, I was taken aback at how polluted the ocean I was swimming in used to be. Now, because of their efforts, we can race in a clean, healthy bay.”
Passion for the environment and the climate fight has evolved into activism for Beisel.
“Three years ago, I became an official ambassador for Save the Bay,” Beisel shared. “I participate in fundraising, their annual race, and visit their summer camp to help educate kids about ocean conservation and climate change. Two years ago, I became an ambassador for Oceanic Global, a nonprofit that provides actionable solutions to protect the oceans. Right now I am currently working with Oceanic Global to implement their SUPR (single-use plastic reduction) initiative at the 2021 US Olympic Swimming Trials.”
Beisel, who also works as a commentator on swimming broadcasts, will look to spread the word on the need for environmental and climate action by becoming the latest EcoAthletes Champion.
“As an Olympic athlete, I have a voice and I want that voice to be heard, especially when it comes to climate change,” said Beisel. “EcoAthletes provides me with the platform to confidently speak out and educate not just our young athletes, but our professional and Olympic athletes as well.”
To EcoAthletes founder Lew Blaustein, Elizabeth Beisel is an ideal addition to the Champions roster.
“Elizabeth Beisel is not only passionate about and well-schooled on ocean health and climate, she also brings a much-needed infectious enthusiasm to both fights,” Blaustein offered. “Elizabeth is our first swimmer and we look forward to working with her to help inspire and coach high-profile swimmers to take climate action and spur a #ClimateComeback.”
Beisel, the first swimmer to become an EcoAthletes Champion, believes her involvement with the organization will be a success if she can catalyze a virtuous cycle of swimmers who join the climate fight.
“I hope to educate my inner circle of fellow athletes, who then educate their inner circle, who then educate their inner circle,” said Beisel. “I want to spread knowledge and ideas to help improve the world and environment we live in. If I can help swimmers make positive changes for the environment and on the climate fight, I will have made a difference.”
Photo at top: Elizabeth Beisel takes a sunrise swim (Photo credit: PJ Dougherty)