Olympic swimmer Beisel shows Riptides the ropes

swim-beils22012 Olympic swimmer Elizabeth Beisel visited Myrtle Beach over the weekend to conduct a swim clinic with the Myrtle Beach Riptides swim team.

Beisel, who won the silver medal in the 400 Individual Medley and the bronze medal in the 200 backstroke, is a senior at the University of Florida.  Beisel has been a member of the US National swim team since age 13.  Her achievements include NCAA Championship event wins and wins at World Swimming Championships.

The Riptides hosted the clinic to kick-off the summer swim season for the athletes.  Beisel conducted a two-hour session on Friday and again on Saturday working with all the swimmers in each of the four swimming strokes.  Beisel even allowed time each day for the Riptides to compete in races against her!

Said head coach James Smith, “We were extremely fortunate to have Elizabeth agree to come to Myrtle Beach for the clinic.  Elizabeth, like many elite swimmers, is the middle of summer training.  In fact, she has a meet in Charlotte May 16-17, so her coach, Gregg Troy at UF, had Elizabeth do ‘double-sessions’ everyday last week to make up for missing Friday and Saturday.”

Smith chose Beisel for several reasons.  “Elizabeth, in my opinion, represents a more realistic swimmer to whom our swimmers can relate.  Elizabeth has achieved at the highest levels of the sport, but she has also had great expectations placed on her and sometimes those didn’t work out.

“Elizabeth exudes personality and confidence.  She is always smiling.  I wanted to make sure Riptides’ swimmers understood that working hard can be fun; not just hard work.

“Lastly, Elizabeth comes from a club team and a college team which train athletes for the same events Riptides’ trains it athletes.  Like Elizabeth’s training, Riptides’ coaches work on developing the overall swimmer, not necessarily a swimmer who is trained specifically for one stroke or one or two events,” said Smith.

For the athletes, perhaps the most fun came in the direct interaction but also in the races at the end of each session.  “How many children get to say, ‘I raced an Olympic swimming medalist today?’” said Smith.

Beisel joins several US Olympians to visit the Grand Strand since Smith arrived to the area in 2006. Other US Olympic swimmers to visit Myrtle Beach include Josh Davis, Ryan Lochte and Kaitlyn Sandeno.  In 2012, Riptides’ swimmers had an opportunity to work with Rowdy Gaines in a clinic with the North Myrtle Beach Aquatic and Fitness Center.

“I believe it is important for our swimmers to meet the best swimmers from the US to learn from them and to interact with them.  We have been to several swim meets where Olympians have competed, but those meets have only allowed our most experienced swimmers to attend.  Being in a position to bring US Olympic swimming heroes to Myrtle Beach to interact on a more personal level is a tremendous benefit to our swimmers,” continued Smith.

For more information regarding the Myrtle Beach Riptides, call (843) 222-7105, email at Coach@TeamRiptides.com or visit www.TeamRiptides.com.

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