Olympic swimmers Elizabeth Beisel and Craig Beardsley will visit the Darien YMCA with Swim Across America Fairfield County


Elizabeth Beisel, three-time Olympian (2008, 2012, 2016), four-time Olympic gold and bronze medalist and captain of the 2016 USA team, as well as Craig Beardsley, world record holder in the 200-meter butterfly and former member of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team (1980), will travel to the Darien YMCA on Saturday, April 23, 2022, as ambassadors for Swim Across America Fairfield County and to host a swim clinic with the Darien Y Piranha swim team.

A public meeting with the Olympians will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Saturday, April 23, in the lobby of the Darien YMCA, located at 2420 Post Road, Darien, Connecticut. The meeting is free and open to the public. No registration required for this part of the day. Swim team members interested in the swim clinic should register directly with the Y.

Elizabeth Beisel has won a total of nine medals in major international competitions, four gold, one silver and four bronze, spanning the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Last year she again established the record books with his world swimming record of 10.4 miles. from mainland Rhode Island to Block Island, becoming the first woman to complete that swim. She took up the Open Water Challenge as a fundraiser for the nonprofit Swim across America (SAA) to benefit cancer research and patient programs in honor of her father, Charles “Ted” Lyons Beisel, who died of pancreatic cancer in July 2021. Elizabeth is a long-time supporter of Swim Across America participating in several swims in Rhode Island and across the country. She resides in Rhode Island and is also known for having been an Olympic commentator at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics held in 2021, as well as having participated in the popular television series Survive.

Craig Beardsley was the 200-meter butterfly world record holder for three years in the early 1980s and qualified as a member of the 1980 US Olympic team, but was unable to compete in the Olympics due to the American boycott of the Moscow Summer Olympics. Games. Craig has been a longtime supporter of Swim Across America since its inception in 1987 and was co-founded by Darien, Connecticut, resident Matt Vossler in honor of his cancer survivor roommate Jeff Keith. Today, Craig works with Swim Across America as Vice President of Partnerships. Craig is also married to Ann-Elizabeth McKay Hensel, a former member of the US National Figure Skating Team. They have two children and live in New Jersey.

“I’m thrilled to be able to visit Darien, the hometown of Swim Across America co-founder Matt Vossler, and work with the Y swim team on important competitive swimming skills,” said Elizabeth Beisel. “It’s also a great opportunity to meet the public and shine a light on Swim Across America’s mission to fight cancer, which actually began in 1987 with a swim in Long Island Sound. It’s also really great to work with the next generation of swimmers, being able to combine swimming with the fight against cancer means so much to me.

“We love when we can bring our Olympians to community pools to help teach important competitive skills,” said Craig Beardsley. “Having a world-class facility like the Darien YMCA available to swimmers is a tremendous asset to the community. We are also thrilled that the Darien YMCA is in the backyard of one of our biggest swims, the Swim Across America Fairfield County event which has many participants from the Darien area. Having the swim clinic at the Y with many of our swimmers, prior to the open water swim on June 25, is a great opportunity to hone those skills and prepare to #make waves to #fightcancer.

Darien YMCA program participants interested in participating in the swim clinic should contact Aquatics Director Amy D’Andrea or Swim Team Coach Jason Memont to register at 203-655-8228. The public interested in meeting Olympic swimmers Elizabeth Beisel and Craig Beardsley can drop by the Darien YMCA from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Saturday, April 23, at 2420 Post Road, Darien, Connecticut.

Swim Across America Fairfield County is in its 16th year of #MakingWaves to #FightCancer and is proud to support its local grantee Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, which has funded some of the nation’s most promising cancer treatments and research, including including breakthrough CAR T gene therapy treatments for leukemia and lymphoma, which led to several other treatments recently approved by the FDA for other types of cancer. This year’s open water swim will take place on Saturday, June 25, 2022 and attracts hundreds of swimmers, volunteers, boaters, kayakers and supporters who spend a morning raising money to fight cancer. To register for the June 25 open water swim or to learn more about Swim Across America Fairfield County, visit swimacrossamerica.org/fc.

Swim Across America, Inc. (SAA) is celebrating 35 years of raising funds and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming-related events. With the help of hundreds of volunteers nationwide and former and current Olympians, Swim Across America helps find a cure for cancer through athletics, community outreach and direct service. To find out more visit swimacrossamerica.org/fc or follow Facebook, Twitter or instagram @SAAFairfieldCo.

Darien YMCA is a 501c3 non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to strengthen community foundations through programs, services and relationships that create healthy minds, spirits and bodies for all. For more information about Darien YMCA, visit darien-ymca.org Or on Facebook and instagram to @thedarienymca and Twitter @DarienYMCA.

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