Betsi Flint has been making waves on and off the sandy courts. In this interview with Her Sport Show, Betsi Flint candidly shares her extraordinary journey, reflecting on everything from the hurdles of becoming a professional athlete to navigating self-image issues and pregnancy, all while empowering women to chase their dreams.
— Her Sport (@HerSportDotIE) November 2, 2023
Betsi Flint hails from a small town in South Dakota, USA, and her love of sports was ignited at a young age. It was during high school that her passion for both indoor and outdoor volleyball took root. Her journey led her to Loyola Marymount University, where she played collegiate volleyball, recently earning a well-deserved spot in the prestigious LMU Hall of Fame. Flint's impressive sporting resume is adorned with two ABCA All-American titles in beach volleyball, six AVP Champion titles, and multiple indoor volleyball records. While representing the USA, she and her partner have secured gold in China and silver medals in both Canada and Australia. Currently, Flint and her partner are on a quest for a coveted spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics, bolstered by a remarkable ninth-place finish at the World Championships in Mexico.
For those unfamiliar with beach volleyball, it is a sport where two-player teams compete on sand, creating a unique dynamic compared to indoor volleyball. Matches involve keeping the ball off the sand while trying to score points by putting it down on the opponent's side. The sport combines athleticism, precision, and adaptability, with players contending against various factors such as sun, wind, weather conditions, and the sand's depth.
Flint candidly discussed the challenges female beach volleyball athletes face in terms of body image and self-confidence. She acknowledged that, like many athletes, she grappled with moments of self-consciousness while wearing the sport's traditional uniform of sports bras and bikini bottoms. However, Flint also highlighted the positive shift in the sport's dress code, where athletes now have more choices in their attire, allowing them to focus on their performance rather than their appearance. She emphasized the importance of prioritizing performance and how one's body feels over appearance, encouraging female athletes to embrace their strength, capabilities, and individuality.
Prioritizing performance and how your body feels is more important than what you'll ever look like."
One of the most significant challenges Betsi Flint faced was deciding to become a mother while being a professional athlete. The process of getting pregnant and returning to top-tier sports was fraught with doubts and uncertainties. Her concerns included whether her body would be capable of performing at the highest level after giving birth. The added complexity of COVID-19 affecting the sporting world led her to view the pause as an opportunity to start a family. Flint's journey through pregnancy and early motherhood was challenging, marked by sleep deprivation and the mental toll of balancing her roles as an athlete and a mom.
I hope that I'm remembered as a woman who was able to have a family, have a baby, come back, and play almost better than before."
In the world of sports, female representation in media has been a topic of discussion and improvement. Betsi Flint acknowledges the strides made in recent years to elevate the visibility of female athletes. She stresses the importance of audience support for women's sports, urging fans to attend events, watch online broadcasts, and follow female athletes' journeys. By actively engaging and supporting women's sports, fans can contribute to the increased representation of female athletes in the media.
As Flint and her partner aim for a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics, they face a rigorous qualification process. Qualification for beach volleyball at the Olympics considers the team's best 12 tournament finishes over a year and a half, with only the top two US teams making the cut. The competition is fierce, and the journey is a true test of endurance and skill. Flint and her partner currently rank among the world's top players, and their sights are set on securing their place on the world's grandest sporting stage.
Congratulations to Ahwatukee's Betsi Flint and her partner Julia Scoles for their opening 2 set win over Austria in the World Beach Championships being held in Tlaxcala, Mexico. On to round two tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/HlKahbzMOi
— Az Region Beach (@AzRegionBeach) October 8, 2023
Betsi Flint's legacy extends beyond her achievements on the beach volleyball court. She aspires to be remembered as a woman who demonstrated that it's possible to have a family, become a mother, and return to professional sports at an even higher level. Her story serves as an inspiration to women and athletes, showcasing the challenges and rewards of pursuing dreams while navigating the intricacies of motherhood.
The full Her Sport Show interview with Betsi Flint is available now on Youtube.