I always believed it was a great thing to live in North Kingstown. I’m proud of little old Rhode Island, and feel no shame in our small and little known state. This summer, one of our own has proven that for me. Elizabeth Beisel, a star from none other than North Kingstown, has made Rhode Island breach the headlines as she soared through London with silver and bronze Olympic medals. Her recent fame has allowed others like me to pride themselves on their hometown, and has opened our eyes to all the benefits of living in North Kingstown.
Elizabeth Beisel has created a tremendous excitement for the Olympics and has become, single-handedly, an idol and conversation-starter for all native North Kingstowners. Her first event, the 400-meter individual medley, had all of NK drawn to their television screens. My stomach was in a knot as she began, and all I could hope for was an amazing race. Beisel is an idol for all, and something for everyone to look up to. Her work ethic and amazing skill have proven to all of North Kingstown that a star can be born anywhere, and nothing brings a community together more than someone who has risen above the rest of the world to tell them that nothing is impossible.
This Wednesday, August 8 the stadium at North Kingstown High School will be packed with avid fans sporting Beisel T-shirts and posters ready to welcome home our local hero. Join us at 7 p.m. to celebrate her two Olympic medals and to congratulate her on her phenomenal performance in London.
I am a lover of all things Olympics. The gripping competition and outstanding stunts are not only entertaining to watch, but remind us that one event can bring together not just a town, but a country. The ear-splitting screams and cheers for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team reminded me that cheering for a team can be exciting even when you don’t know the athletes. I feel like I know Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, as well as Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin in swimming, because I care so much about their success, just because they sport the American flag.
Beisel has also sparked a renewed love for North Kingstown. I can think of no other place to call my home, and constantly think of all the things it has given me. The recreation programs and great school teams were what built Elizabeth Beisel as a world-class swimmer. She was involved with her community, and became a champion as a result. She is a living example to teach us that you can’t get anywhere by yourself. She has a whole town’s worth of fans, and every single one of us has cheered her on until the very end.
Even without her medals, Elizabeth Beisel has become an idol for North Kingstown. She has brought a community together, and has given a sense of pride to all those who call NK their home. She is a role model and an inspiration, and will forever be remembered as North Kingstown’s star. Congratulations, Liz! You have made everyone proud!