Huge Congratulations to Diana Nyad! Never too old to chase your dreams!
5 attempts, spread out over 35 years, were needed until she finally made her dream come true and wrote history – with tremendous willpower, determination, patience, vision, faith, dedication and an absolute never-give-up-attitude! In “only” 52 hours, 54 minutes and 18.6 seconds (she expected to swim around 80 hours), supported by favourable currents and a huge team of helpers but without sleep or rest, long distance swimmer Diana Nyad conquered the approx. 103 miles (166 km) from Cuba to Florida – at age 64! Reaching Key West, Florida on Sept. 2nd 2013, around 2 p.m. local time, she became the first person to swim across the Florida Straits without a shark cage after Susie Maronie did it back in 1997 protected (and aided) by a cage.
After her 3 recent defeats in 2011 and 2012, when she was forced to stop due to life-threatening box jellyfish stings, and after 2 failed attempts by faster and younger accomplished long distance swimmers Chloe McCardel and Penny Palfrey, many thought her dream was simply impossible to realise. But Diana was determined to give it a last try and again put everything into it – body, mind, heart and soul. Plus creativity and inventiveness. And with the help of an amazing team of specialists in many fields and believers in her vision including individual sponsoring from all over the world now everything seemed to come together. Even Mother Nature seemed to send her blessings, letting her swim in an almost strait line supported by the currents, in mostly calm seas and with only one small thunderstorm during the first night. Her main problem this time was sickness – the difficulty to keep feedings down.
Her mantra: “Find a way”
Diana did not swim completely according to English Channel rules, but her use of a mask and suit to protect herself against deadly box jelly fish especially at night, allowing herself to be touched, and using a streamer to help her swim in a straight line, does not necessarily take away from her accomplishment, which included incredible amounts of solitary training hours – it rather shows her determination and creativity to find a way to reach her goal.
“I have three messages”
Barely able to speak with exhaustion and a swollen mouth after her arrival on her “Other Shore”, she still had 3 messages to offer:
- we should never ever give up;
- you are never too old to chase your dreams;
- it looks like a solitary sport but it is a team.
More in many articles and videos:
- BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23915203
- USA today (peace message to USA and Cuba)
- Daily Mail UK – great fotos
- NBC news “All in her head”
- CBS News: “My mantra was ‘find a way’”
- German aricles: Süddeutsche, Frankfurter Rundschau, Stern (video)
- and on her website: http://www.diananyad.com/blog/community-videos-of-arrival
- Diana Nyad responding to critics of her swim
- Jose Miguel Diaz Escrich, the Hemingway Marina commodore who helped organize the Cuba side of Nyad’s multiple attempts, is quoted by USA today:
“More than the athletic feat, she wants to send a message of peace, love, friendship and happiness … between the people of the United States and Cuba,” he said.
- Shortly (end of September), Diana Nyad is releasing her feature-length documentary film, The Other Shore, about her “jaw-dropping journey” to manifest her → Xtreme Dream.
“The fullness of life lies in dreaming and manifesting the impossible dreams.” – Sri Chinmoy
Also interesting to read:
- 5 other epic and historic swims by National Geographic
- Diana Nyad Record: How Does the Body Endure Long Swims (National Geographic)
- New York Times: Diana Nyad Profile 2011 and 2013: her plans at age 10