Diana Nyad is an accomplished woman. She is an author, a journalist, a squash player, a long-distance swimmer, and a motivational speaker. Years back, in 1975, she swam around Manhattan. Four years later, she swam from North Bimini, The Bahamas, to Juno Beach, Florida. Perhaps her most famous swim was in 2013, she became the first person confirmed to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage.
Nyad Planned, Her Last Swim, To Be In 1979
On her 30th birthday, in 1979, Nyad planned to have her last “competitive” swim. During that swim, she set a world record for distance swimming for both men and women over open water. She did so by swimming 102 miles without the use of a protective shark cage. During her swim, she averaged 3.7 miles per hour. She successfully completed the swim in 27 1/2 hours.
Her Last Swim – She Paddles On
The 1979 swim did not end her career. She was determined to make the Cuba to Floria swim. She started her attempts in 2011. After several issues, including an asthma attack, she gave up on her attempt after spending 29 hours in the water. She attempted the swim again, her third attempt, but she stopped due to the jellyfish and Portuguese man-of-war stings and currents, which pushed her off course. The following year her fourth attempt ended after two storms and nine jellyfish stings.
Nyad Finds Success On Her Fifth Attempt
August 31, 2013, Nyad started her fifth attempt to swim from Havana, Cuba to Florida. The total distance amounted to 110 miles. Again she swam without a shark tank, and a 35-person support team accompanied her. During this swim, to protect her from the jellyfish, she wore a silicone mask, a full bodysuit, gloves, and booties. After about 53 hours of swimming, Nyad, at age 64, reached the beach in Key West.
There is a saying: “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”