Nyad forced to call off record swim attempt

Record-holding swimmer Diana Nyad, 61, was forced to call off her attempt to become the first person to swim nonstop from Havana, Cuba, to the Florida Keys without a shark cage early this morning, according to this report from CNN.com. (Read my more extensive post from Monday about the effort here.)

Rough seas, shoulder pain and asthma ended her swim early, after she’d made it about halfway through the 103-mile distance in 29 hours. This is the second time Nyad has attempted the swim. The first time was in 1978 when she was 29. She swam 76 miles in about 42 hours — that time inside a shark cage — but had to call it off when high winds and rough seas pushed her off course and kept banging her into the sides the tank.

I am sad that Nyad had to call off the swim. I was really rooting for her to make it. But at the same time, I am amazed and inspired that she even tried to make the swim, and when you think about how far she got and how quickly, it is even more amazing. So Diana Nyad is still one of my new heroes.

Watch CNN’s report below.

—  admin

Lesbian athlete attempting to swim from Havana to the Florida Keys — again

At 61, former NPR reporter Diana Nyad is swimming for the record books.

In Greek mythology, the naiads were, basically, water nymphs, presiding over fountains, wells, springs, streams and brooks.

Lesbian athlete and former NPR reporter Diana Nyad, 61, hopes to conquer a somewhat bigger body of water as she attempts to swim from Havana, Cuba, to the Florida Keys in 60 hours, without a wetsuit or a shark cage. She left Havana Sunday and intends to complete the 103-mile distance sometime Wednesday, according to this report by ChicagoPride.com.

CNN, the only news media outlet that will have reporters in the boats accompanying Nyad, talked with the swimmer before she left Sunday. She told CNN she believes she is in the prime of her life. She said: “When I walk up on those shores of Florida, I want to prove to the AARP crowd that it’s not too late to go back and write that book or adopt that child. … The joke is the 60s are the new 40s, and it’s true. … I want to be there to say we have many, many years of vitality and strength and service left in us.”

Like anybody who has listened regularly to NPR, I had heard of Diana Nyad. But I never knew that she was a world-record-holding swimmer. In 1970 at age 20, in her first distance swim, she set a women’s world record by swimming 10 miles across Lake Ontario in four hours, 22 minutes. In 1974, she set another world record by finishing the 22-mile Bay of Naples race in Italy in eight hours, 11 minutes. The next year, at age 26, Nyard swam around the island of Manhattan — 28 miles total — in seven hours, 57 minutes.

—  admin