Elizabeth Beisel swimming in the 200-meter individual medley at the 2017 Arena Pro Swim Series on June 4, 2017 in Santa Clara, California.
If one was truly stranded on a tropical island, being an Olympic-caliber swimmer would come in handy.
But Olympic medalist Elizabeth Beisel, 27, is going to have other obstacles to contend with on the hit reality competition “Survivor,” such as her fellow castaways. That should be no problem for the outgoing and upbeat Beisel, who was officially announced as a cast member on the 39th season of the show, which filmed in Fiji and premieres Sept. 25.
Beisel will not be the first Olympic swimmer to sit around the bonfire at a tribal council ceremony. 1988 Olympian Katrina Radke joined the cast of season 35, but was the first contestant voted off. Beisel will hope for better results on “Survivor: Island of the Idols” as a prize of $1 million is on the line.
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Beisel swam in three Olympic Games – her first coming at age 15 when she was youngest on the team – and earned two medals, both at the London Games in 2012. She earned silver in the 400-meter individual medley — her best event, in which she also won the world title in 2011 — and bronze in the 200-meter backstroke. After serving as a captain on the U.S. swimming team in Rio, she competed at one more world championships in 2017 before retiring from competitive swimming.
She is no stranger to television, having pursued a career in broadcasting in retirement. She has called swim meets for the ACC Network and hopes to cover an Olympic Games one day.
Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.