SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WHDH) - Olympic silver medalist Elizabeth Beisel on Saturday became the first woman to complete the 10-mile swim from the Rhode Island mainland to Block Island, raising over $130,000 for cancer research in the process.
Beisel’s completed the swim in honor of her late father, Ted, who lost his battle to stage 4 pancreatic cancer this past summer.
“I just wish my dad were here, honestly. But I know he’s here in spirit,” Beisel said.
The 10.4-mile swim took Beisel approximately five hours to complete.
All proceeds from the event will be donated to Swim Across America, whose mission is to fund cancer research.
“Swim Across America is about community and it’s about hope. I mean, there’s not one of us that hasn’t been touched by cancer either directly or indirectly,” said Doug Sayles, Rhode Island event director for Swim Across America.
Sayles added that Beisel is an inspiration in both her swimming accomplishments and in the generosity of her personality.
“It sets a fantastic example,” he said.
Beisel hopes that her historic swim will inspire others to push themselves like she did.
“All I was doing this morning was positive affirmations. ‘Hey, you can do this. Fighting cancer is harder than this swim, so you got this,'” said the Olympian. “It was so hard, but I did it.”
So far, she has helped raised $134,000 for Swim Across America.
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