History was made this Labor Day weekend after sexagenarian, Diana Nyad, shattered all records and made the historic swim across the Straits of Florida.
According to Nyad's online blog which chronicled her historic journey, this weekend marked Nyad’s fifth attempt at swimming across the 110-mile stretch of ocean that connects the shores of Havana, Cuba to the shores of Key West. Accompanied by a 35 person support team, who coached and guided her on her record breaking journey, Nyad was on a mission to break the record she sought for more than 30 years.
Nyad is no stranger to these waters. The elite swimmer made her first attempt across these waters in 1978, when she was only 29-years-old. The question everyone keeps asking is, WHY?
During a press conference to the Cuban media just before she began her latest swim, Nyad answered this lingering question.
So here I am for my fifth—and last—time. It’s a fine line between having the grace to let go of something you don’t have control over and just can’t beat….and I could be in that place …except I had to ask myself, Is there a way? So I’ve made preparations to try to protect myself fully from the box jellyfish. I have the best support team ever and have trained consistently and rigorously for four years now. I feel stronger and more prepared than I’ve ever been. It’s a fine line between having the grace to see things are bigger than you are and there’s another fine line, an edge, where you don’t want to ever give up.
Following her speech, Nyad hunkered down to a nice plate of spaghetti with garlic and olive oil, in preparation for the fifth attempt at her 100+ mile swim.
Sporting a blue and black swimsuit, Nyad began her swim on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 8:59 a.m.
Tortured by jellyfish on her last attempt, just a couple of weeks ago, this time Nyad wore a special wetsuit to help protect her from the dangerous box jellyfish that prematurely ended her last attempt.
Dodging storms, jellyfish, sharks and even a cruise ship, Diana pushed her way through 23 knot winds eventually breaking the record for furthest distance ever swam just 50 or so hours into her swim.
Averaging a speed of 2.76, Diana finally made her way to the shore of Florida in 52 hours 54 minutes and 18.6 seconds.She was greeted by hundreds of supporters who were anxious to see her reach the shores of Florida
Struggling to speak due to lacerations in her mouth, Nyad briefly spoke to the crowd Monday offering some very inspirational advice.
“I got 3 messages, 1: We should never give up, 2 is never too old to chase dreams and 3 is never a solitary sport it’s a team.”
Well done Diane, you are an inspiration to all of us.