PHOENIX, Arizona, December 7. OLYMPIC medalist Elizabeth Beisel joins today's edition of The Morning Swim Show after a week of fast swimming and tough final exams.
Beisel, now a junior at the University of Florida, talks about her performances at the Ohio State Invitational, where she and her teammates at Florida got a rare opportunity to swim fast times in-season. It was one of the things that helped Beisel get over the post-Olympic depression she said she experienced after London, when she had to return to school almost immediately. The Olympics will remain a highlight for Beisel in many ways, from winning two medals to experiencing what she called the most enjoyable team she's been with in her career. She also talks about that controversial final 100 freestyle by Ye Shiwen in the 400 IM and what her perspective was during and after the race. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Jeff Commings: This is the Morning Swim Show for Friday, December 7th, 2012. I am your host Jeff Commings. Elizabeth Beisel will join us in the FINIS Monitor today. The two-time Olympic medalist has been swimming very well since the Olympics, setting herself up for a great NCAA's in her junior year at the University of Florida and Elizabeth joins us right now from Gainesville. Hey Elizabeth, always good to see you, how are you today?
Elizabeth Beisel: Great, how are you? Thanks for having me.
Jeff: Always great to have you. So we haven't talked to you since the Olympics. What has been going on with you?
Elizabeth: A lot. It was great. I spent a couple of days afterwards in London and you know just travel around with the family and then I got to go home to Rhode Island which was a little bit crazy, but you know then I got back to school and everything is back to normal now at school, just ended for me yesterday. I finished all my exams so I am pretty happy about that, but that means Christmas training just started so I am not very happy about that, but yeah, no everything has been great.
Jeff: Tell us about those exams, how did they go?
Elizabeth: I think they went pretty well. It was bad timing because all of my exams are on Tuesday and Wednesday. I had 4 and we had our meet, our invite last weekend so it was just. It was a little bit hard like studying, and the exams and swimming and all that stuff so I was like studying in between sessions, but I think it went well.
Jeff: Well I couldn't imagine trying to do all that especially a prelims finals meet. All you want to do is take a nap.
Elizabeth: Oh my gosh, I know, don't worry I still got nap in though.
Jeff: Okay. Well good so then you talked about Christmas training are you going to be going back to Rhode Island?
Elizabeth: Yeah, I will be. We are all out to leave on the 20th to go home and then we have to be back on the 28th for morning practice so I get like a solid weekend so I will be able to see Chuck. He'll be fresh off his trip from turkey so hopefully we will have some good stories from that because I won't be able to go.
Jeff: We just recently talked to your former Bluefish teammate Laura Sogar who was telling us about how — as well as all that training Bluefish etcetera for a time at Texas is not something that she always looks forward to going back to duing Christmas but I would imagine you probably do because it is kind of the same thing the training you do in Florida.
Elizabeth: Yeah, it is similar in many ways. Some of the days I don't look forward to because like for Thanksgiving when I always come home the day before Thanksgiving every year, we have like our annual practice and it is normally around like 20 to 25,000 meters or yards and it is like 6 hours long and that is always just like so dreadful to know that I have to go home to but you know I am used to hard stuff like that. High volume so it is not so bad for me.
Jeff: Did you do that this Thanksgiving?
Elizabeth: Yeah, I did Jeff: Well that is brutal, it is brutal. Well it paid off for you. I mean you are swimming really well, 4:00.61 in the 400 IM in season. Now it is unusual for Florida to get a rest during the season. I mean you guys are always swimming tired through the season and you start to come down for the SEC meet where you get your cuts so is this a new philosophy there for Florida, do an in season rest so you guys get your cuts then?
Elizabeth: You know I think so and I think it worked really well. The entire meet went well for everybody and I think more of the reason that Coach Troy had us you know come down for 2 or 3 days before the meet was just because you know our dual meet record isn't the best right now and not all of us are very confident in everything and we are always training hard and we are always tired so we really haven't seen those fast times yet so I think Coach Troy allowing us to have 2 or three days and putting on suits at night was really helpful just for us and you know believing that okay we are actually a really good team like we can surprise some people at the end of the year, so I am definitely glad we were able to you know get some fast times in.
Jeff: In addition to the IM you went 1:52 in the 200 back, 4:34 in that 500, really good time. Were you surprised by the results?
Elizabeth: Absolutely. I had no idea where I was going to be coming off the Olympics this summer I was sort of a pain the first two or three months of training just because you know we are in that post-Olympic depression, I know some people get it. I got it for sure so I wasn't really willing to work as hard as I should have so I was sort of expecting the worst going into this meet and I came out with some pretty fast times. This is the best time in the 500, so you know I can't really complain about where I am right now.
Jeff: Well you mentioned that post Olympic depression. A lot of your teammates got the ability to take some time off because you know they are either postgrads or what not and I would imagine you would Had to get right back into swimming. You have got right back into school at Florida so how did that really affect you, mentally?
Elizabeth: It is really hard. I didn't experience it nearly as bad in 2008 as I did this go around and I think that is just because I was surrounded by a lot — I am surrounded by Olympians here at Florida and I think I was pretty jealous of seeing you know Conor and Ryan going on all these cool trips to you know meet all these celebrities and stuff and I was stuck here in Gainesville doing school and swimming and it is really hard because you come off such a high at the Olympics and you know the Olympics went well for me so I was just so excited and everything was going well in life and then I have to come back here and get back into hard training right away and I miss everybody also from the team and the Olympics. I never really have the same training group that I had before the Olympics and it was just sort of a hard transition and the coaches knew like what was happening with me like as if it is okay like you will be okay in a couple of months and you know I am fine now. It just takes awhile to get over and get used to the, you know normal life again.
Jeff: Yeah, I am sure, well it is just I think probably you can look forward to in 2016 you will be a post grad then so you could take all that time to kind of do what you want and travel with Ryan, Conor, things like that.
Elizabeth: Yeah. When I'll be done in 2016 so I can travel for like years after that I don't have to get back in the pool at all.
Jeff: You have no more 400 IM for Elizabeth Beisel.
Elizabeth: No more.
Jeff: Well let's talk about that Olympics. I mean really good swims for you, silver medal in that 400 IM, bronze in the 200 back and we all know how excited you were. I mean we saw for instance a photo of you on the medal podium with Missy getting a big hug from her.
Jeff: Was it just a big relief off your shoulders after all the of these years of kind of being right there in medal contention to finally walk away with Olympic medals?
Elizabeth: Yeah. It was so nice especially after 2008 when I was 4th and 5th I was sort of you know I wasn't like bitter but I was like, “Oh man it would have been cool to get a medal” so it is more pressure because the Olympics only comes around every 4 years. I really like well, “I better do this time.” So it is definitely when I touched the wall in the 400 IM I was like, oh my gosh biggest weight off my chest ever just because you know I have got a medal I was so excited. It was the best time and the entire trip was amazing.I think it was the best team that I have ever been a part of. You know friend wise like we all worked so well together and there was no tension between anybody and stuff so it was definitely an amazing trip and I miss it like every day.
Jeff: Well everybody keeps talking about that. This was the best team ever. I mean from your perspective compare it from 2008 to this year?
Elizabeth: I think I mean both teams were amazing obviously, but I think this year we were as a whole, we were all just focused on having like enjoy the meet and in 2008, I know for me I was just super nervous and didn't really know where or what to do with myself and I was just too focused on everything and every little detail but this time we are all having fun like we made the Call Me Maybe video which was awesome and we were so into the meet like cheering wise and we wanted everybody to do well and everybody was friends with everybody so it was different than 2008 but you know I definitely liked this time better than 2008.
Jeff: Well I am sure. You got some hardware to prove it.
Elizabeth: Yeah, definitely.
Jeff: When you look at those medals I mean what comes to mind. What do you think of now?
Elizabeth: I think — well the first thing when I look at my medals I always think about like the award ceremony and I think that is the coolest part of the Olympics, is when you are able to stand on the podium and just even if it is not your national anthem playing just seeing the flag raised for you and what you did for your country I think that is one of the coolest moments ever, but I think it also represents like all the hard work that I have done and you know what Chuck has done for me and what Coach Troy has done for me and all the coaching staff here at Florida and my family and stuff and it represents that and it is something that I am definitely grateful and I am never going to really forget anything or anybody that has helped me along the way.
Jeff: Well, I want to talk about that 400 IM. You know a lot of controversy stem from that. I mean you kind of actually overshadowed your swim with Ye Shiwen and that final 100 free. I mean you had probably the best perspective of that you were in the lane right next to her. She kind of went right by you in that freestyle. I mean what are your thoughts on her going a 59 at the end of a 400 IM?
Elizabeth: You know I give her credit to out split Ryan and Michael and a ton of the guys in the final heat is amazing, and it was sort of tough for me because I had trained you know for my last 100 to be awesome and Coach Troy would always tell me you know if you touch first in the breaststroke you are going to win. So in that race you know I touched first at the 300 I was like, “All right I am going to win a gold medal. This is great.” And then at like 15 meters later I like turned to my right and I was like “Nope I am not” and it was hard that last 100 hurt a lot and I am sure hurt for her too but she had a great swim. I don't want to take anything away from her you know there has been a lot of accusations on her side but she is innocent until proven guilty and I don't think there is anything wrong with what she — you know I think she is fair, she swam a fair race.
Jeff: Well it sounds like you know what happens in swimming you know somebody breaks a barrier and then everybody else follows. Do you think there is a 59 possible for women now in the 400 IM?
Elizabeth: Oh yeah. It is definitely possible. I mean I have seen I think like that for freestyle like Federica who is the one that always —
Jeff: Pellegrini when she went under 4 minutes.
Elizabeth: Yeah and I mean she can bring it home in under a minute and it is just that it is not a common thing, so people are obviously going to question at it first but Coach Troy's goal for me is to bring it home in under a minute and you know I believe I can do it that. It is just it is going to take a lot of work and I am going to have to get into better shape in order to do that but it will definitely be done so.
Jeff: And Elizabeth, you got to stop thinking about, “Oh my God I am going to win a gold medal.” Just focus on the swim.
Elizabeth: Yeah, I know, I was just so excited and I blame it on Coach Troy.
Jeff: Well okay, blame it on him. I mean this whole year 2012. I would say it has been one of your — maybe it has been one of your best years ever, would you agree?
Elizabeth: Yeah, I know I definitely think so actually. I think I surprised myself in later or like in February when SEC or NCAA's, it was the fastest I have ever swam short course and I don't really consider myself a short course swimmer and then the Olympics went really well for me. I went a best time in my 200 back which hasn't happened in 4 years so the best time in my 400 IM so I really have nothing to complain about. I have been constantly improving since I got to Florida and hopefully it will stay that way and we will see.
Jeff: Well I think the next goal for you is to add to that national trophies case behind for Florida.
Elizabeth: Hopefully. We will see. That will be awesome.
Jeff: That would be awesome, Elizabeth. Well always great to see you. Thanks for joining us. I am glad you are done with exams. I feel your pain with Christmas training coming up, having gone through many of those in my life so best of luck with that as well. You will come out the other side grinning I am sure.
Elizabeth: Thank you so much.
Jeff: All right. We will see you at NCAA's.
Elizabeth: Okay, see you.
Jeff: All right so that is Elizabeth Beisel joining us in the FINIS Monitor and that is going to do it for today's Morning Swim Show as always we invite you to join us on swimmingworld.com, on Facebook and on Twitter to join us for the latest swimming news. I am Jeff Commings. Thanks for watching and have a great weekend.
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