Betsey Armstrong is a water polo player competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

Elizabeth "Betsey" Armstrong led the U.S. women's water polo team to the gold-medal match at the Beijing Olympics, but the goalkeeper and her teammates were unsuccessful and finished with the silver medal. The squad was favored to win. "Ultimately it was disappointing," Armstrong said. "Now I'm able to look back on that and smile and be glad that that was my Olympic experience, but it took some time to close that wound a little bit."

Armstrong recorded 28 saves at the 2011 Pan-American Games to lead the U.S. to victory and a London Olympics berth, which included a 13-save performance in the gold-medal game. At the 2011 World Championships, Armstrong tallied 49 saves en route to the Americans' sixth-place result. Armstrong stopped 55 shots during the 2010 FINA World Cup.

Armstrong was selected to the U.S. national team after attending open tryouts in May 2006, and made her playing debut at the 2006 FINA World League in Cosenza, Italy. Armstrong was in goal when the U.S. defeated the defending Olympic champions Italy twice in the preliminary round, 8-6 and 9-6. She was replaced in goal by Emily Feher for the knockout stage, but had no reason to fret, as the U.S. women won the tournament.

Armstrong had her breakout at the 2007 FINA World Championships, where she was named outstanding goalkeeper of the tournament. In rapid succession, Armstrong backstopped wins against Beijing-bound Holland, Greece, Hungary and Australia. In the final, she held the powerful Aussies, who had averaged eleven goals to that point, to five goals as the Americans prevailed 6-5. Armstrong calls the win her happiest sporting moment.

Armstrong earned a degree in classical literature at the University of Michigan in 2005. She chose to concentrate on literature because she enjoys the challenge of examining and interpreting literary works from different angles (much like a goalkeeper's of saving shots from different angles), and formulating a written argument with clarity and conciseness. Some of her favorite authors are Jonathon Safran Foer, James Joyce, Nabokov, Primo Levi, Austen, Kerouac, Dave Eggers and Shakespeare. For her efforts, Armstrong was a two-time recipient of the Athletic Academic Achievement award.



With her background in literature, Armstrong hopes one day to be a writer. She blogged for the New York Times before the Beijing Olympics and said she'd be perfectly happy being a sports writer after her water polo career is over. Armstrong also has high hopes of someday becoming a famous novelist.

Interestingly, this aquatics enthusiast is also a big fan of flying. "I used to be obsessed with outer space as a kid," she said. "My dad and I would ride our bikes to the planetarium. My dad is a pilot as well (for a hobby mostly), so when I was very young he would take me and my brother and sister for rides in his airplane." Armstrong would love to go for a glider ride, or even venture into space, to see the whole world in front of her.

Armstrong said she was named after Queen Elizabeth, but that's not the only royal connection in her family. She has a sister named Katherine and a brother named David. "I think my mom really had a thing for the English monarchy," Armstrong said. She would like to meet the Queen in London.

One of Armstrong's favorite actress is Cate Blanchard, especially in her portrayals of Queen Elizabeth of England. When asked whether she was disappointed that Blanchard was snubbed for best actress Oscar, Armstrong replied: "You know, I was a little bummed, but I don't think it is worth getting that upset about, [Blanchard] seems like the type of actress who won't let Oscar hoopla define her or her roles."

When she's not in the pool, Armstrong likes to surf, experiment with new recipes and have dinner with her boyfriend. Her older sister also played water polo, and she got her Betsey into the sport.




FACTS

How tall is she? How old is she? Where does she live? Find out here.

Age: 34 years old
Birthday: January 31, 1983
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Full Name / Real Name: Elizabeth Armstrong
Birthplace: Ann Arbor, MI
Current Residence: Long Beach, CA


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