Three-time Olympian, silver medalist, and 2016 Team USA Captain, Elizabeth Beisel is poised to make history on Wednesday, September 22, when she swims from mainland Rhode Island (Matunuck Beach) to Block Island in her BLOCK CANCER SWIM.

Update: 12 pm on September 21

Elizabeth Beisel’s safety team just moved her swim due to increasing surf and wind conditions in the ocean by Block Island. Weather permitting, her swim will happen Saturday, September 25th, with a launch time of 7:00 a.m., at the Ocean Mist on Matunuck Beach. Back-up date is Sunday.

Beisel joined What’s Up Newp ahead of her historic swim for a live virtual video conversation on Tuesday, September 20th.. Watch our discussion below.

If completed, she will be the first woman to swim the the 16.7km (10.4 mile) route. Elizabeth will adhere to Marathon Swimmers Federation’s Rules of Marathon Swimming throughout the entirety of her swim. The swim will be nonstop and unassisted.

Elizabeth, a Rhode Island native, announced in January of 2021 the Block Cancer charity swim to encourage her father Ted Beisel, who was battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Sadly, Ted passed away on July 1, 2021. One of Ted’s last wishes was that Elizabeth complete the Block Cancer charity swim. All proceeds are benefitting the nonprofit Swim Across America whose mission is to fund cancer research.

The support crew for Elizabeth will include two support boats, EMTs, shark experts, a navigator, Elizabeth’s coach, her family, and Elaine Howley of the Marathon Swimmers Federation. Two kayakers will flank Elizabeth during the swim and assist with feeding during the roughly 5 hour journey.

Elizabeth and Ted Beisel

Elizabeth chose this swim to Block Island because while growing up in Rhode Island, swimming to Block Island was always something she dreamed of doing.

To follow Elizabeth’s progress, learn more, support, donate and/or shop custom Block Cancer gear, visit

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).