Update: Diana Nyad has successfully completed the elusive Cuba to Florida swim in just under 53 hours. Nyad landed at the beach in Key West and told supporters they should never give up. She looked dazed and exhausted but at 64, completed a feat that is incredible. An ambulance took her to a hospital shortly after hooking her up to an IV. Before finishing her swim she addressed her support team, “I am about to swim my last 2 miles in the ocean,” Nyad said from the water, according to her website. “This is a lifelong dream of mine and I’m very glad to be with you.” Nyad is the very definition for persistence and resilience. Congratulations to Ms. Nyad, a true sports heroine.
US endurance swimmer, Diana Nyad, 64 is once again attempting to complete the swim which has thus far eluded her; Cuba to Florida. This is her fifth attempt. Previous attempts have been halted by rough seas, sharks and last year jellyfish stings. Her swim, should she complete it, covers 103 miles (166km). On this attempt, she has prepared for the jellyfish, equipped with a silicon mask. She left Havana just before midnight on Saturday. It could take as long as three days. Before jumping in to the water Nyad said, “I think I have some luck in my favor with Mother Nature. And I’m ready and the jellyfish protection that we’ve spoken about is better than it’s ever been.” The Cuba Florida swim has never been completed without a cage and will remain so, if she fails on this attempt. In 1997, Australian endurance swimmer Susie Maroney, then 22, completed the swim from within a shark cage. Besides the safety of the cage from predators, it is believed that a cage also smooths out the water in front of the swimmer. In essence, Maroney’s swim was equivalent to a wind aided 100m run, although far more difficult. Speaking at a news conference in Cuba on Friday she said this would be her last attempt. “It’s been thrilling for me – it was 35 years ago, and it still is – to do something no-one else has done. It’s all been worthwhile,” she said. “But this time if I don’t make it, I will stand tall and I say: ‘I have nothing more to bring’.” At 64, she must be commended even for the attempt. But bigger than the attempt is the ambition. She has failed on four previous attempts, enduring terrible hardships and yet she continues. She demonstrates everything that is great about the human spirit; tenacity, drive, resilience, hard work and the desire to be the best.